One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A volatile alkaloid obtained from jaborandi leaves, used to contract the pupils and to relieve pressure in the eye in glaucoma patients.
- ‘Parasympathomimetic drugs such as pilocarpine constrict the pupil and ‘pull’ on the trabecular meshwork, increasing the flow of aqueous out of the eye.’
- ‘In the sweat test, a small electric current is used to carry the chemical pilocarpine into the skin of the child's forearm.’
- ‘The plant's leaves contain pilocarpine, a rare alkaloid used in the treatment of glaucoma and when diagnosing cystic fibrosis.’
- ‘The traditional treatment using the drug pilocarpine lacked systemic side effects but produced pinpoint pupils and was unpopular with patients.’
- ‘Oral pilocarpine is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled asthma and in patients in whom miosis is undesirable, such as patients with acute iritis or narrow angle (angle closure) glaucoma.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Pilocarpus (genus name of the jaborandi) + -ine.
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