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Evaluation of atropine 1% ophthalmic solution administered sublingually for the management of terminal respiratory secretions.

Abstract

Terminal respiratory secretions (TRS) or "death rattle" is a common symptom in the dying patient. Current practice for the prevention and treatment of TRS involves the use of oral, sublingual, transdermal, or parenteral anticholinergic medications. A retrospective chart review of patients admitted to a hospice inpatient unit for terminal care and treated with sublingual atropine 1% ophthalmic drops for TRS was conducted. A total of 19 of 22 patients treated with atropine had documented reduction or resolution of TRS. This study suggests that atropine 1% ophthalmic drops administered sublingually are a reasonable option for the management of TRS. Problematic cardiac or central nervous system symptoms were not found in the present study. Results should aid hospice programs who are seeking guidance on the management of TRS with atropine 1% ophthalmic drops.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Protus BM, Grauer PA, Kimbrel JM

    Source

    The American journal of hospice & palliative care 30:4 2013 Jun pg 388-92

    MeSH

    Administration, Sublingual
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Atropine
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Muscarinic Antagonists
    Ophthalmic Solutions
    Respiratory Sounds
    Retrospective Studies
    Terminal Care

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22833553