The daily educational pearl – anticholinergic syndrome

Anticholinergic syndrome

It can be causes by a large number of drugs and plants. There is probably a mnemonic for it but I hate mnemonics (and can’t remember them anyway). But as you look at your patient starting from the head, it’s not hard to remember what symptoms you can get with anticholinergic syndrome:

– agitated delirium – restless, fidgety, “picking at invisible things in the air” / visual hallucinations, confusion, disruptive behaviour

– seizures

– coma

– flushed skin (cutaneous vasodilation)

– hyperthermia (usually mild, suspect other causes if > 38 degrees Celsius)

– mydriasis

– dry mouth / dry skin

– tachycardia

– hypotension

– urinary retention

– ileus / decreased bowel sounds