Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

An acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or anti-cholinesterase is a chemical that inhibits the cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, so increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Uses

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors:

Examples

Reversible inhibitor

Compounds which function as reversible competitive or noncompetitive inhibitors of cholinesterase are those most likely to have therapeutic uses. These include:

Quasi-irreversible inhibitor

Compounds which function as quasi-irreversible inhibitors of cholinesterase are those most likely to have use as chemical weapons or pesticides. These include:

Natural Compounds (Supplements)

Effects

Some major effects of anticholinesterases:

  • Actions on the autonomic nervous system, that is parasympathetic nervous system will cause bradycardia, hypotension, hypersecretion, bronchoconstriction, GIT hypermotility, and decrease intraocular pressure.
  • SLUD syndrome.
  • Actions on the neuromuscular junction will result in prolonged muscle contraction.

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