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July 19, 1965

Pilocarpine Nitrate and Psychostimulants: Antagonistic Agent to Anticholinergic Effects

JAMA. 1965;193(3):236-237. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090030058023

THE PURPOSE of this paper is to report in more detail1 the use of pilocarpine nitrate orally in a private practice to combat dryness of the mouth and other side effects of psychostimulants. Although pilocarpine has been reported to antagonize dryness of the mouth caused by ganglion-blocking agents,2 there appears to have been no report in the literature of its use with psychostimulants.

The pharmacology of pilocarpine has been thoroughly studied.3 It has a highly selective action on cells innervated by postganglionic cholinergic nerves. It stimulates smooth muscle and exocrine glands innervated by these nerves. The sweat and salivary glands are particularly responsive. Also stimulated are lacrimal, gastric, pancreatic, and intestinal glands, hepatic biliary secretions, and the mucous cells of the respiratory tract. Applied locally it causes miosis, lasting from several hours to a day.

Effects of the alkaloid on the circulatory system are not remarkable. The