Evaluation of atropine 1% ophthalmic solution administered sublingually for the management of terminal respiratory secretions.
Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2013 Jun;30(4):388-92
Authors: Protus BM, Grauer PA, Kimbrel JM
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.
PMID: 22833553 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]