Scopolamine's uses have roots in ancient times and have pervaded into the present. This heterocyclic tropane alkaloid is naturally found in Solanaceas plants and can be prepared in the laboratory from various precursors. First isolated in the late nineteenth century, it has found various uses in the modern world. In humans, scopolamine is therapeutically employed in opthamallogical procedures to cause mydriosis, prolonged dialation of the iris, and is used to prevent and treat motion sickness. Because it depresses the central nervous system, it has been used as an amnesiac for birthing mothers, producing "Twlight Sleep." It does not have great chemical utility and decomposes on standing or heating; therefore it is stored in hydrated forms or as salts with HCl or HBr.
Historical Usage of Scopolamine
During the Middle Ages, drug addicts used potions derived from compounds such as the tropane alkaloids, which are found in solanaceous plants. The sensation of flying, in addition to hallucinations were attributed to the application of such ointments. These early drug addicts were often victims of witch-hunts. In addition, scopolamine was used as an anaesthetic during surgery, until physicians were accused of sorcery upon the disclosure of their patients' odd dreams.
Plant-derived tropane alkaloids were used for cosmetic reasons: until the Renaissa...
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...nonymous. NASTECH FILES NDA FOR INTRANASAL SCOPOLAMINE. 1999. Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. press release.
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11. Fodor, G. Tetrahedron, 1957, 14: 86.
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14. Glasby, J. S. Encyclopaedia of the Alkaloids. 1975. New York: Plenum Press. l:731.
15. Brossi, Arnold. The Alkaloids. 1988. Academic Press: San Diego CA. 33:54, 63
16. Marion, L. and A.F. Thomas. A further Observation on the Biogenesis of Hyoscyamine. 1955. Can. J. Chem. 33: 1853.
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