WLMD ID: apor
During general anesthesia, the patient may be unable to swallow normally. In addition, early inhalation anesthetics could cause the body to produce more secretions. To prevent the buildup of mucus in the respiratory tract, anesthesiologists may administer a drug that reduces the body’s production of oral, nasal, and airway secretions. Since the 1910s, atropine sulfate has been used for this purpose.

Pure atropine was first produced in 1831 by the German pharmacist, Heinrich Mein (1799-1864). It was first synthesized in 1901 by the German chemist, Richard Willstatter (1872-1942). The pharmaceutical product atropine sulfate dissolves more easily than does atropine. The bottle shown here was made by Eli Lilly and Company in 1930. The introduction of new inhalation anesthetics since the 1960s has reduced the use of atropine as a preanesthetic medication.

Catalog Record: Atropine Contact the library at [email protected] for historical record.