Which medications in the drug class Anticholinergic agents are used in the treatment of Medication-Induced Dystonic Reactions?

Updated: Feb 19, 2018
  • Author: John Michael Kowalski, DO; Chief Editor: David Vearrier, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Anticholinergic agents

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications. The most commonly used agents are benztropine and diphenhydramine. Both are effective treatments, and data do not support one over the other.

IV is the route of choice, with signs and symptoms often resolving within 10 minutes. The medication can be delivered IM if an IV line cannot be established, but medications will take 30 min to be absorbed. More than 1 dose may be necessary for complete resolution of dystonia.

Benztropine (Cogentin)

By blocking striatal cholinergic receptors, benztropine may help in balancing cholinergic and dopaminergic activity.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Although an antihistamine, diphenhydramine also possesses significant anticholinergic properties. The mechanism of action is identical to that of benztropine.


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