parasympathomimeticmedical dictionary

1. <pharmacology> Producing effects resembling those of stimulation of the parasympathetic nerve supply to a part.

2. An agent that produces effects similar to those produced by stimulation of the parasympathetic nerves, usually refers to drugs that mimic the effects of parasympathetic nervous system activity.

Includes drugs that directly stimulate muscarinic receptors and drugs that potentiate cholinergic activity, usually by slowing the breakdown of acetylcholine (cholinesterase inhibitor). Drugs that stimulate both sympathetic and parasympathetic postganglionic neurones (ganglionic stimulants) are not included.

Synonyms: cholinergic.

Origin: Gr. Mimetikos = imitative

(12 Dec 1998)