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Atropine in cardiac resuscitation

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Action of atropine is to block the vagus nerve and thus enhance sinus node automaticity and atrioventricular conduction.

  • atropine causes blockade of parasympathetic activity at both the sinoatrial (SA) node and the atrioventricular (AV) node may increase sinus automaticity and facilitate AV node conduction
  • adult dose of atropine for asystole, or pulseless electrical activity with a rate < 60 min per minute, is 3 mg IV

Atropine may increase myocardial oxygen demand and unmask sympathetic overactivity.


  1. Resuscitation Council (UK). Adult Advanced Life Support. Resuscitation Guidelines 2005.

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