HOW DO CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS WORK?
Cholinesterase inhibitors or acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are a class of medications that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the body and are used for treating dementia. The parasympathetic nervous system controls various organ and gland functions at rest, including digestion, defecation, lacrimation, salivation, and urination, and primarily uses acetylcholine as its main neurotransmitter.
Cholinesterase inhibitors block the action of the enzyme anticholinesterase. Anticholinesterase is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine into an inactive form. When the levels of acetylcholine reduce in the body, it can cause symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Blocking the action of acetylcholinesterase reduces the breakdown of acetylcholine and further increases the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain.
HOW ARE CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS USED?
Cholinesterase inhibitors are mainly used to treat dementia associated with:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
They are also used in the treatment of Myasthenia Gravis and for anticholinergic poisoning. Besides, cholinesterase inhibitors are given at the end of surgeries to reverse the effect of muscle relaxants.
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS?
Cholinesterase inhibitors may cause the following side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased weight
- Irregular heart rate
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
Brain and Nervous System Resources