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Tropane Medical Directory
Tropane alkaloids are a class of alkaloids and secondary metabolites that contain a tropane ring in their chemical structure. The class consists of more than 200 compounds1 . Tropane alkaloids naturally occur in plants of the families Erythroxylaceae (including coca) and Solanaceae (including mandrake, henbane, deadly nightshade, datura, potato, tomato). Important tropane alkaloids are atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine. Atropine is an racemic mix of the R- an L-enantiomer of hyoscyamine. The L-hyoscyamine is the active form. These tropane alkaloids are known to prevent binding of acetylcholine to its receptor and as a result have effects on heart rate, respiration and functions in the central nervous system (anticholinergic poisoning). Scopolamine, acting as an antagonist at both peripheral and central muscarinic receptors, is thought to be the primary compound responsible for the toxic effects of these plants. Tropane alkaloids are found in all parts of the plants, with highest concentrations in roots and seeds2 . The proportion of each alkaloid present varies among species, time of year, location, and part of plant.
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Datura seed, equivalent to 0.1 mg of atropine per seed, has caused death from cardiopulmonary arrest. The usual route of ingestion is as a tea, although ingesting seeds or other plant parts and smoking dried leaves also are common. Scopolamine has three primary medical uses: treatment of nausea and motion sickness, treatment of intestinal cramping, and for ophthalmic (relating to eyes) purposes. Use as a general depressant and adjunct to narcotic painkillers is also common. The drug is less commonly used as a preanesthetic agent and uncommonly for some forms of Parkinsonism.
Also used as an adjunct to narcotic analgesia, such as the product Twilight Sleep which contains morphine and scopolamine, some of the original formulations of Percodan and some European brands of injectable methadone ( buy injectable methadone Online ), as well as use of tablets or patches to combat nausea as well as enhance the pain-killing ability of various opioids. Scopolamine can be used as an occasional sleep aid and was available in some over the counter products in the United States for this purpose until November 19904 . Relatively recent a novel group of tropane alkaloids was detected in deadly nightshade: calystegines5 . These alkaloids were also detected in extracts of the roots of Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) and Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed), both in the family Convolvulaceae. Calystegines are formed .
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A large number of wild and cultured plants produce secondary metabolites that are toxic to humans and/or animals. Through accidental or intentional mixing of these plants with normal food and feed the consumers of these products may be exposed to the toxins. A lot of information is available on some of these secondary metabolites, but others are less well known. In this report tropane alkaloids in relation to human incidental or accidental exposure will be discussed. This report also aims to provide background information for EFSA and EC-SANCO, in view of the plans to draft an EFSA scientific opinion on tropane alkaloids in 2011, with the focus on human health.
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