The key difference between atropine and glycopyrrolate is that atropine is useful in treating nerve agents and poisoning, whereas glycopyrrolate is useful in treating stomach ulcers.
Both atropine and glycopyrrolate belong to the same drug class: the anticholinergic drug class. However, they have different applications because these drugs are useful in treating two different conditions of our body.
What is Atropine?
Atropine is a tropane alkaloid substance and an anticholinergic medication we can use to treat certain types of nerve agents and pesticide poisonings. Moreover, we can use this medication to treat slow heart rate and decrease saliva production during surgery.
This medication is typically given intravenously or through an injection into a muscle. Furthermore, there are eye drops available that are important in treating uveitis and early amblyopia. Usually, the injectable form (intravenous solution) tends to work within a minute and lasts half an hour to an hour. Therefore, we need to use large doses to treat poisonings.
Atropine – Side Effects
However, there are some side effects of atropine medicine, including dry mouth, large pupils, urinary retention, constipation, and fast heart rate. Generally, we should avoid using this drug for people having angle-closure glaucoma problem. However, there is no evidence to say that its use during pregnancy can cause birth defects. It is also likely to be safe during breastfeeding.
When considering the occurrence of atropine, we can find it in many members of the family Solanaceae. For example, the most common source of atropine is Atropa belladonna. Other sources include the genera Brugmansia and Hyoscyamus.
What is Glycopyrrolate
Glycopyrrolate is a medication that is useful in treating certain types of stomach/intestinal ulcer. It can relieve abdominal stomach pain. This drug works by decreasing the acidity or the amount of acid in the stomach and intestines. Glycopyrrolate belongs to the anticholinergic class of drugs.
The route of administration of this drug is oral administration. Therefore, we need to take this drug by mouth, usually 2-3 times per day, as prescribed by the doctor.
Glycopyrrolate- Side Effects
However, there can be some side effects of glycopyrrolate, including drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, dry eyes, dry mouth, constipation or abdominal bloating. Typically, it is advised to suck hard candy or ice chips, chew gums, drink water, or use saliva substitute in order to prevent dry mouth side effect. We can prevent constipation by eating dietary fibers, drinking enough water, and exercising.
Similarities Between Atropine and Glycopyrrolate
- Atropine and Glycopyrrolate are medicinal drugs.
- These drugs belong to the cholinergic drug class.
- Both can have some side effects.
What is the Difference Between Atropine and Glycopyrrolate?
Atropine and glycopyrrolate are anticholinergic drugs. The key difference between atropine and glycopyrrolate is that atropine is useful in treating nerve agents and poisoning, whereas glycopyrrolate is useful in treating stomach ulcers. Moreover, atropine can be administrated orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, and rectally, whereas glycopyrrolate is administered only orally. Also, atropine has side effects like dry mouth, large pupils, urinary retention, constipation, and fast heart rate, whereas glycopyrrolate has side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, dry eyes, dry mouth, constipation or abdominal bloating.
The below infographic lists the differences between atropine and glycopyrrolate in tabular form.
Summary – Atropine vs Glycopyrrolate
Atropine and glycopyrrolate are anticholinergic drugs having two different applications. The key difference between atropine and glycopyrrolate is that atropine is useful in treating nerve agents and poisoning, whereas glycopyrrolate is useful in treating stomach ulcers.