Pilocarpine (C11H16N202 = 206.63) is an alkaloid derived from the leaves of Pilocarpus jaborandi, a shrub of eastern Brazil.


Central Nervous System is depressed in the lower centers.

Muscular System. - Unstriped muscle is stimulated by Pilocarpine at the myoneural junction.

Respiration is usually slowed, and rendered somewhat dyspneic by contraction of bronchial muscles and by lessened circulation.

Heart is usually slowed by direct action on vagus terminations; though acceleration and palpitation may be induced, means unknown.

Blood-pressure is raised through heart action and vasomotor effect.

Eye. - Pupil is contracted by stimulation of myoneural junctions of intraocular muscles. Intraocular pressure reduced by contraction of iris, thereby opening up the spaces of Fontana.

Alimentary Tract. - Thrown into active peristalsis by stimulation of the terminations of the unstriped muscle receptors.

Secretory Glands. - Pilocarpine excessively stimulates the salivary, lachrymal, mucous and intestinal glands, and the sweat and ceruminous glands - all by immediate action on the terminations of the secretory nerves.

Metabolism. - Leucocytosis increased through splenic stimulation.

Temperature is slightly increased, then slowly decreased.

Absorption is active from mucosa and from subcutaneous tissues.

Excretion. - A large part excreted unchanged.


Therapeutic Doses.




Intestinal discomfort.

Toxic Doses.

Excessive salivation, lachrymation and hidrosis.

Nausea, retching, and vomiting.

Colic, violent peristalsis, and profuse watery stools.

Pulse slow and irregular.

Pupil contracted.

Respiration quick and dyspneic.

Mental confusion.

Tremors, feeble convulsions.

Respiration weakens and fails.


Pilocarpine finds its almost exclusive use as a powerful diaphoretic for grave emergencies. It is used, also, in ophthalmic work to contract the pupil and to reduce intraocular pressure.


Pilocarpinae Hydrochloridum, 0.008 to 0.03 Gm. Pilocarpinae Nitras, 0.008 to 0.03 Gm.

Pilocarpine 68

Crimson = stimulation. Violet = depression.