medication, brand name Robinul
in the United States
. Significant for its inability to cross the blood-brain barrier
, and thus its lack of the usual anticholinergic CNS
The main side effects of glycopyrrolate are also the expected anticholinergic effects. It is a competitive inhibitor of acetylcholine at postganglionic muscarinic receptors, and thus inhibits all nerve impulses that rely on muscarinic receptors. These include all parasympathetic responses, along with sweat.
Effects thus include tachycardia, dry mouth, decreased airway secretions, decreased GI motility, decreased stomach acid secretion, urinary retention, and decreased sweating.
Glycopyrrolate is used in operating rooms for reversal of neuromuscular blockade - that is, as an antidote to paralytics. It is also used outside the OR to reduce stomach acid secretions and as a treatment for increased sweating. Its inability to cross the blood-brain barrier is a prime consideration in the use of this anticholinergic over other ones.