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Term Definition
Anticholinergic A drug that blocks the effects of acetylcholine, a substance produced by the body that is responsible for certain nervous system activities (parasympathetic). Drugs with anticholinergic effects (including antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, drugs for intestinal problems, antiparkinsonians) inhibit the secretion of acid in the stomach, slow the passage of food through the digestive system, inhibit the production of saliva, sweat, and bronchial secretions, and increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Adverse effects of these drugs include dry mouth, constipation, difficulty urinating, confusion, worsening of glaucoma, blurred vision, and short-term memory problems.
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