In normal female sheep, we investigated effects of exercise on the absorption of atropine sulfate (0.02 mg/kg) given intramuscularly. The exercise regime consisted of treadmill running (20 min at 3-4 mph at 0° grade) starting immediately after intramuscular atropine injection into the biceps femoris. Six normal female sheep received intramuscular atropine and 7-14 days later an identical intramuscular dose of atropine with exercise. Serum levels of atropine measured by radioimmunoassay were monitored over a 6-hour period. The time to peak concentration was significantly less with exercise than without, 2.9 ± 2.1 and 13.7 ± 5.4 min, respectively (p < 0.005). In addition, peak serum atropine concentrations tended to be higher, 9.7 ± 1.3 ng/ml with exercise versus 7.1 ± 2.9 ng/ml without exercise; however, the difference did not attain statistical significance (p < 0.08). This study demonstrates that exercise increases the early absorption of intramuscularly administered atropine sulfate.
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