|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Thank you for this rather interesting question.
Patanol is both an anticholinergic drug and an antihistamine.
Anticholinergic drugs bind to specific receptors of the neurons within our autonomic nervous system, thereby suppressing the neurons ability to transmit signals. These so-called cholinergic neurons transmit signals that control most of our vital functions, including heartbeat rate, skin temperature, brain function, and many activities within the gastrointestinal tract. Anticholinergics all produce a characteristic spectrum of effects in humans. These include: speeding up of the heartbeat (rapid pulse), slowing down of bowel activity and stomach acid production, and relaxation of the eye muscles. Antihistamines block release of histamine, thereby suppressing allergy symptoms like hives, nasal congestion, and red itchy eyes.
It follows that patanol could have beneficial effect in such gastrointestinal disturbances as colic, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. Similar medicines like hyoscyamine, atropine, and dicyclomine are widely used in this manner. I'm not aware of any direct effect upon the pancreas. Based on its pharmacology however, I suspect patanol could decrease pancreatic secretions into the duodenum (first part of small intestine, stomach empties into here).
In the USA, patanol is available only as eyedrops. There are other countries where it can be prescribed in pill form under different name.
I hope this helps!
W Emory Lawrence, MD
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