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      Anticholinergics in Palliative Medicine : An Update

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      American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®

      SAGE Publications

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          Most cited references 36

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          Muscarinic receptors: their distribution and function in body systems, and the implications for treating overactive bladder.

          1. The effectiveness of antimuscarinic agents in the treatment of the overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is thought to arise through blockade of bladder muscarinic receptors located on detrusor smooth muscle cells, as well as on nondetrusor structures. 2. Muscarinic M3 receptors are primarily responsible for detrusor contraction. Limited evidence exists to suggest that M2 receptors may have a role in mediating indirect contractions and/or inhibition of detrusor relaxation. In addition, there is evidence that muscarinic receptors located in the urothelium/suburothelium and on afferent nerves may contribute to the pathophysiology of OAB. Blockade of these receptors may also contribute to the clinical efficacy of antimuscarinic agents. 3. Although the role of muscarinic receptors in the bladder, other than M3 receptors, remains unclear, their role in other body systems is becoming increasingly well established, with emerging evidence supporting a wide range of diverse functions. Blockade of these functions by muscarinic receptor antagonists can lead to similarly diverse adverse effects associated with antimuscarinic treatment, with the range of effects observed varying according to the different receptor subtypes affected. 4. This review explores the evolving understanding of muscarinic receptor functions throughout the body, with particular focus on the bladder, gastrointestinal tract, eye, heart, brain and salivary glands, and the implications for drugs used to treat OAB. The key factors that might determine the ideal antimuscarinic drug for treatment of OAB are also discussed. Further research is needed to show whether the M3 selective receptor antagonists have any advantage over less selective drugs, in leading to fewer adverse events.
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            Muscarinic receptors and ligands in cancer.

            Emerging evidence indicates that muscarinic receptors and ligands play key roles in regulating cellular proliferation and cancer progression. Both neuronal and nonneuronal acetylcholine production results in neurocrine, paracrine, and autocrine promotion of cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and other features critical for cancer cell survival and spread. The present review comprises a focused critical analysis of evidence supporting the role of muscarinic receptors and ligands in cancer. Criteria are proposed to validate the biological importance of muscarinic receptor expression, activation, and postreceptor signaling. Likewise, criteria are proposed to validate the role of nonneuronal acetylcholine production in cancer. Dissecting cellular mechanisms necessary for muscarinic receptor activation as well as those needed for acetylcholine production and release will identify multiple novel targets for cancer therapy.
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              Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in clinical use of scopolamine.

              The alkaloid L-(-)-scopolamine [L-(-)-hyoscine] competitively inhibits muscarinic receptors for acetylcholine and acts as a nonselective muscarinic antagonist, producing both peripheral antimuscarinic properties and central sedative, antiemetic, and amnestic effects. The parasympatholytic scopolamine, structurally very similar to atropine (racemate of hyoscyamine), is used in conditions requiring decreased parasympathetic activity, primarily for its effect on the eye, gastrointestinal tract, heart, and salivary and bronchial secretion glands, and in special circumstances for a CNS action. Therefore, scopolamine is most suitable for premedication before anesthesia and for antiemetic effects. This alkaloid is the most effective single agent to prevent motion sickness. Scopolamine was the first drug to be made commercially available in a transdermal therapeutic system (TTS-patch) delivering alkaloid. Recently, pharmacokinetic data on scopolamine in different biozlogic matrices were obtained most efficiently using liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) or gas chromatography online coupled to mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic parameters are dependent on the dosage form (oral dose, tablets; parenteral application; IV infusion; SC and IM injection). Scopolamine has a limited bioavailability if orally administered. The maximum drug concentration occurs approximately 0.5 hours after oral administration. Because only 2.6% of nonmetabolized L-(-)-scopolamine is excreted in urine, a first-pass metabolism is suggested to occur after oral administration of scopolamine. Because of its short half-life in plasma and dose-dependent adverse effects (in particular hallucinations and the less serious reactions, eg, vertigo, dry mouth, drowsiness), the clinical use of scopolamine administered orally or parenterally is limited. To minimize the relatively high incidence of side effects, the transdermal dosage form has been developed. The commercially available TTS-patch contains a 1.5-mg drug reservoir and a priming dose (140 microg) to reach the steady-state concentration of scopolamine quickly. The patch releases 0.5 mg alkaloid over a period of 3 days (releasing rate 5 microg/h). Following the transdermal application of scopolamine, the plasma concentrations of the drug indicate major interindividual variations. Peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) of approximately 100 pg/mL (range 11-240 pg/mL) of the alkaloid are reached after about 8 hours and achieve steady state. During a period of 72 hours the plaster releases scopolamine, so constantly high plasma levels (concentration range 56-245 pg/mL) are obtained, followed by a plateau of urinary scopolamine excretion. Although scopolamine has been used in clinical practice for many years, data concerning its metabolism and the renal excretion in man are limited. After incubation with beta-glucuronidase and sulfatase, the recovery of scopolamine in human urine increased from 3% to approximately 30% of the drug dose (intravenously administered). According to these results from enzymatic hydrolysis of scopolamine metabolites, the glucuronide conjugation of scopolamine could be the relevant pathway in healthy volunteers. However, scopolamine metabolism in man has not been verified stringently. An elucidation of the chemical structures of the metabolites extracted from human urine is still lacking. Scopolamine has been shown to undergo an oxidative demethylation during incubation with CYP3A (cytochrome P-450 subfamily). To inhibit the CYP3A located in the intestinal mucosa, components of grapefruit juice are very suitable. When scopolamine was administered together with 150 mL grapefruit juice, the alkaloid concentrations continued to increase, resulting in an evident prolongation of tmax (59.5 +/- 25.0 minutes; P < 0.001). The AUC0-24h values of scopolamine were higher during the grapefruit juice period. They reached approximately 142% of the values associated with the control group (P < 0.005). Consequently, the related absolute bioavailabilities (range 6% to 37%) were significantly higher than the corresponding values of the drug orally administered together with water (range 3% to 27%). The effect of the alkaloid on quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) and cognitive performance correlated with pharmacokinetics was shown in studies with healthy volunteers. From pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling techniques, a direct correlation between serum concentrations of scopolamine and changes in total power in alpha-frequency band (EEG) in healthy volunteers was provided. The alkaloid readily crosses the placenta. Therefore, scopolamine should be administered to pregnant women only under observation. The drug is compatible with nursing and is considered to be nonteratogenic. In conclusion, scopolamine is used for premedication in anesthesia and for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of scopolamine depend on the dosage form. Effects on different cognitive functions have been extensively documented.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®
                Am J Hosp Palliat Care
                SAGE Publications
                1049-9091
                1938-2715
                July 11 2012
                August 2013
                September 09 2012
                August 2013
                : 30
                : 5
                : 490-498
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Director of Palliative Care, Division of Hematology/Oncology &amp; Assistant Professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Mayo Clinic Hospital, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
                Article
                10.1177/1049909112459366
                © 2013

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