Atropa Belladonna and Scopolamine. Michelle Pryce Chemistry 211 13 June 2008. Atropa belladonna. Scopolamine is derived from the Atropa belladonna plant. This plant is commonly known as the “Deadly Nightshade”.
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13 June 2008
The plant is native to Central and Southern Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia, it and has been successfully cultivated in North and South America as well as parts of Russia.
It is considered one of the deadliest plant in the Western Hemisphere.Atropa Belladonna
Children have been poisoned by eating as few as three berries.
Ingestion of a leaf of the A.belladonna can be fatal to an adult.
The root of the plant is generally the most toxic part of the plant. Belladonna leaves, if handled carelessly, can cause pus filled blisters on the hands.
Symptoms of A. belladonna poisoning include dilated pupils and blurred vision.
Also included are husky voice, hallucinations, loss of balance, a feeling of flight, staggering, a sense of suffocation, paleness followed by a red rash, flushing, extremely dry throat, constipation, tachycardia, urinary retention, and confusion.Toxicity of Atropa Belladonna
Used in ACLS protocol for symptomatic bradycardia.
Used to reverse effects of nerve agent in chemical poisoning.
Used to treat organo-phosphate poisoning.
Used by ophthalmologists for pupil dilation in eye exams.
Used to treat nausea and vomiting.
Used to treat motion sickness and vertigo.
Used to treat IBS, enterocolitis, and duodenal ulcers to stop intestinal spasms.
Used in cold/flu medicines to help dry up excess mucusMedicinal uses of A. belladonna
Belladonna is the plant that poisoned the troops of Marcus Antonius during the Parthian wars.
According to the History ofScotland (1582), Macbeth poisoned an entire army with a drink containing an infusion of belladonna and alcohol.
Juliet of Romeo and Juliet took an infusion of belladonna to produce her death-like sleep.
Mentioned in Little Women as a sleeping aid.
Mentioned in the movies The Nightmare Before Christmas, Perfect Stranger, Robocop 2, and Practical Magic as ways to sedate or kill a nemesis and in the TV shows CSI and House as a way to commit criminal activities.Historical references
Dr. Scopoli was also a physician who was assigned to treat miners in the mines of Slovenia.
He was trying to isolate a cure for mercury poisoning when he isolated the derivative of scopolamine.
He did not find a cure form mercury poisoning, however, scopolamine is a very useful drug.
Today, it is used medicinally for treatment of motion sickness, gastrointestinal cramping, and recovery from anesthesia and surgery.Scopolamine