Psychotogenic Properties of Cyclopentolate

Harry H. Mark, MD
JAMA. 1963;186(4):430-431. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63710040009018c.
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IT IS ALWAYS unpleasant for the physician and patient to be confronted with peculiar, unexpected reactions to a drug which was administered for its beneficial effects. The drug in this case is cyclopentolate (Cyclogyl) hydrochloride, an anticholinergic agent used in eye drop form. In customary use of aqueous solutions of 0.5% to 2.0%, cycloplegia and mydriasis occur within 30 min of instillation of one drop into the conjunctival cul-de-sac. Since its introduction some 10 years ago, cyclopentolate gained wide popularity, particularly among ophthalmologists. The rapid onset and short duration of its action made the drug almost ideal for ophthalmoscopy and refraction in children. Furthermore, serious side effects had not been encountered until the recent publication of two such cases.1,2

It is the purpose of this report to illustrate, by way of four cases, the psychotogenic properties of cyclopentolate, and to point out the chemical similarity of the drug to


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