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Artane is a medication that is primarily used to treat the stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Artane is sometimes used to alleviate the side effects of certain psychiatric drugs. Artane works by altering unusual nerve impulses and relaxing stiff muscles. The active ingredient in Artane is trihexyphenidyl, which is classified as an antispasmodic drug.
Use and Dosage
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 3 to 4 times a day with meals and at bedtime. Your doctor may start you at a low dose and increase your dose slowly to find the best dose for you. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to therapy.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure your dose with a special measuring spoon or device. Do not use a household spoon because it may not provide the correct dose.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Take this medication at least 1 hour before antacids containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium. Allow at least 1-2 hours between doses of trihexyphenidyl and certain drugs for diarrhea (adsorbent antidiarrheals such as kaolin, pectin, and attapulgite). Take this medication at least 2 hours after ketoconazole. Antacids and some drugs for diarrhea may prevent the full absorption of trihexyphenidyl, and this product may prevent the complete absorption of ketoconazole when these products are taken together.
If you are taking this medication for side effects from another medication, your doctor may instruct you to take it on a regular schedule or only as needed. If you are taking this medication for Parkinson’s disease, your doctor may change the dose of your other medications (such as levodopa). Follow your doctor’s instructions closely.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Inform your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Serious side effects include:
- An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
- Fast or irregular heartbeats
- Anxiety, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, hyperactivity, or loss of consciousness
- Eye pain
- A rash
Other side effects include:
- Dryness of the mouth
- Large pupils or blurred vision
- Drowsiness or dizziness
- Difficulty urinating or constipation
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Upset stomach
- Decreased sweating
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Before taking trihexyphenidyl, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: glaucoma, breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema), diarrhea caused by an infection, heart problems (such as angina, heart attack, heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat), high/low blood pressure, stomach/intestinal problems (such as chronic constipation, ileus, blockage, ulcerative colitis, acid reflux, ulcer), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood problems (such as anxiety, dementia, psychosis), certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), certain nerve disease (autonomic neuropathy), seizure, stroke, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), problems urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate, neurogenic bladder), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).
This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
This medication decreases saliva production, an effect that can increase gum and tooth problems (such as cavities, and gum disease). Take special care with your dental hygiene (such as brushing, and flossing) and have regular dental check-ups.
Liquid forms of this product may contain alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Some medications (such as disulfiram, metronidazole) may cause a serious reaction when combined with alcohol. Tell your doctor if you are taking any medication that should not be used with alcohol. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
This drug can cause decreased sweating, which could cause a severe rise in your body temperature (hyperthermia). The risk of this serious side effect is greater in hot weather, during vigorous exercise, and/or if you drink alcohol.
Drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly while in hot weather and when exercising. If you experience signs of hyperthermia such as mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness, promptly seek cool or air-conditioned shelter and/or stop exercising and get medical help right away. Consult your doctor for more details.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, heatstroke, memory problems, difficulty urinating, and constipation. Dizziness and drowsiness can increase the risk of falling.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the effects on heart rate.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strengths
Artane is available in the following form and strengths:
- 2 mg
- 5 mg
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of an Artane overdose include large pupils; warm, dry skin; flushed face; fever; dry mouth; fast or irregular heartbeat; anxiety; hallucinations; confusion; agitation; hyperactivity; loss of consciousness; and seizures.
What should I avoid while taking trihexyphenidyl?
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Artane may cause dizziness or blurred vision. If you experience dizziness or blurred vision, avoid these activities.