This is an old story but am surprised that no one corrected Sue; Atropine is not an antidote it is a general drug used to comabat the effects of many types of poison:
Atropine is a tropane alkaloid extracted from the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and other plants of the family Solanaceae. It is a secondary metabolite of these plants and serves as a drug with a wide variety of effects. Being potentially deadly, it derives its name from Atropos, one of the three Fates who, according to Greek mythology, chose how a person was to die.
Physiological effects and uses
Generally, atropine lowers the "rest and digest" activity of all muscles and glands regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. This occurs because atropine is a competitive antagonist of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.
Atropine is not an actual antidote for organophosphate poisoning. However, by blocking the action of acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors, atropine also serves as a treatment for poisoning by organophosphate insecticides and nerve gases, such as Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), Soman (GD) and VX. Troops that are likely to be attacked with chemical weapons often carry autoinjectors with atropine and obidoxime, which can be quickly injected into the thigh. Atropine is often used in conjunction with Pralidoxime chloride.
Atropine is given as a treatment for SLUDGE (Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Diaphoresis, Gastrointestinal motility, Emesis) symptoms caused by organophosphate poisoning.
Some of the nerve agents attack and destroy acetylcholinesterase, so the action of acetylcholine becomes prolonged. Therefore, atropine can be used to reduce the effect of acetylcholine.
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