an·​ti·​cho·​lin·​er·​gic | \ ˌan-tē-ˌkō-lə-ˈnər-jik How to pronounce anticholinergic (audio) , ˌan-tī- How to pronounce anticholinergic (audio) \

Definition of anticholinergic

: opposing or blocking the physiologic action of acetylcholine The more sedating tricyclic antidepressant drugs … are more likely to produce orthostatic hypotension and such adverse anticholinergic effects as urinary hesitancy, constipation, dry mouth, and blurred vision …— Patricia N. Prinz et al. anticholinergic drugs used to treat a broad range of conditions, from overactive bladder to bronchial spasms.— Melinda Beck

Other Words from anticholinergic

anticholinergic noun

Examples of anticholinergic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These age groups were selected because the ability to sweat is reduced by 25 percent in older adults, and is decreased by a further 25 percent in people on anticholinergic medication. Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 22 June 2021 However, the evidence is mounting that certain medicines, those with anticholinergic properties, may indeed predispose people to dementia. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2021 According to the research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, discovered the increase odds of dementia in people 55 and older who take anticholinergic medications. CBS News, 29 July 2019 Controlling for other factors like smoking, 16.7% of the patients with dementia had been taking some kind of anticholinergic drug daily for at least three years, a decade before the study’s start time. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, 27 June 2019 In other words, anticholinergic medications can cause confusion and/or delirium, dry mouth, visual impairment, fever, and flushing. Katie Heaney, The Cut, 17 May 2018 Long-term use of strong anticholinergic drugs has been linked to the risk of dementia (BMJ, April 25, 2018). Joe Graedon, M.s., And Teresa Graedon, Houston Chronicle, 13 May 2018 Antihistamines like Benadryl, anti-anxiety medications like Ativan and Xanax, and antidepressants such as Prozac and Cymbalta are all anticholinergic. Brandy Miceli, The Mercury News, 26 May 2017 An anticholinergic blocks a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Patti Singer, USA TODAY, 25 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anticholinergic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anticholinergic

1942, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of anticholinergic was in 1942

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Cite this Entry

“Anticholinergic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for anticholinergic


an·​ti·​cho·​lin·​er·​gic | \ -ˌkō-lə-ˈnər-jik How to pronounce anticholinergic (audio) \

Medical Definition of anticholinergic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: opposing or blocking the physiological action of acetylcholine



Medical Definition of anticholinergic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a drug having an anticholinergic action

More from Merriam-Webster on anticholinergic Encyclopedia article about anticholinergic


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