Why can't I get it!

  1. When I read the word anticholinergic my mind goes blank. I study and study the topic, think to myself, okay now I have it. Then two weeks later come across the word and my mind goes blank! Please somebody give me a kiss (keep it simple stupid) way to forever remember what anticholinergic means!Specifically how It affects the body! I don't care how dumbed down the answer is, I need some simple memory trick to remember it's effects
  2. Visit brownbook profile page

    About brownbook

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 2,664; Likes: 5,760
    from CA , US


  3. by   poopprincess
    Anticholinergics inhibit nerve impulse activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. If you remember your A&P, the PNS acts on digestion, urination, salivation and lacrimation. PNS 'rest and digest' which is opposite of sympathetic 'fight or flight.'
    An ex. of their use may be bladder spasms. Major common side effects are that they dry you up because they inhibit the PNS. So the way that I learned to remember it was:
    Can't see
    Can't pee
    Can't sit
    Can't s***

    Maybe not the most professional rhyme, but it helped me numerous times on my nursing school exams. Hope this helps.
  4. by   brownbook
    Thanks, I know it isn't really that difficult (on a basic level).

    Crazy thing is, inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system makes perfectly good sense to me. I get that. For some crazy reason if I read up on a drug and it says it has anticholingergic properties my mind goes blank! Why don't they just say it inhibits the parasympathetic nervous system, then I wouldn't have this problem!

    The word "anti" does something to my brain. I even used to struggle with the word antibodies. Something about that prefix.

    I think/hope I will remember anticholinergic, inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system. I will see how long that lasts!
  5. by   cardiacrocks
    It's can't spit not can't sit. Sorry I just had to correct this.
  6. by   brownbook
    Thanks, can't sit was kind of confusing me?
  7. by   poopprincess
    Yes it is spit! My bad. Thank you for correcting my typo.
  8. by   Vespertinas
    That was the funnest mnemonic to learn in nursing school. I can't help but suspect that you actually knew this one and just wanted to make me chuckle one more time upon hearing it.
  9. by   nursecat64
    just remember "anti" means against. Separate the words as in medical terminology. If you can define cholinergic, then you can know anything "anti" will work against it.
    Last edit by nursecat64 on Jan 22, '12 : Reason: correct spelling
  10. by   djb1284
    i still don't get it. anticholinergics work to keep a person from peeing, seeing, spitting, etc?
  11. by   Gabby-RN
    Quote from djb1284
    i still don't get it. anticholinergics work to keep a person from peeing, seeing, spitting, etc?
    They dry up the pee, dry up the tears, dry up the spit etc.

    If you have a horrible runny nose and take an anticholinergic like benadryl, it dries it up the drip.

    If you suffer from chronic frequent urination and are prescribed an anticholinergic like ditropan, it works by drying up the urine there by making you urinate less.

    Obviously very simplified but hopefully it helps.