Comparative absorption of inhaled and intramuscularly administered atropine

L. I. Harrison, R. C. Smallridge, K. C. Lasseter, M. B. Goldlust, E. C. Shamblen, V. W. Gam, S. F. Chang, D. C. Kvam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The inhalation of atropine sulfate was investigated in a randomized, 4-period, rising-dose study. Atropine sulfate 2, 4, and 6 mg by inhalation, and atropine free base 1.67 mg (equivalent to 2.0 mg atropine sulfate) by intramuscular (IM) injection were given to 8 healthy, nonsmoking subjects. Serum atropine sulfate concentrations were monitored during an 8-h period by radioimmunoassay. Mean serum concentrations and area under the serum concentration-versus-time curves (AUC) increased as the inhaled dose increased. Peak concentrations (mean ± SD) were 11.5 ± 3.4, 16.4 ± 6.2, and 18.0 ± 3.1 ng/ml for the 2, 4, and 6 mg doses, and 11.7 ± 2.5 ng/ml for the IM dose. The time to peak concentration for each dose was similar (mean, 0.8 to 1.9 h). The AUC ratio of the 2-mg inhaled and IM doses was 1.11 ± 0.41. The observed bronchodilating, anticholinergic, and other pharmacologic effects were seen after all dose concentrations and were typical of atropine. This study showed that inhalation is an efficient way to administer atropine sulfate for systemic use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 22 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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