Artane is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1949 to treat motor symptoms in all forms of Parkinsonism. Artane is often prescribed to younger people with Parkinson’s Disease. Artane is also referred to by its drug name, trihexyphenidyl.
Artane is not suitable for use in people with tardive dyskinesia or narrow-angle glaucoma, or who have previously shown hypersensitivity to trihexyphenidyl. Artane must be used with caution in people with mental disorders, arteriosclerosis, enlarged prostate, fast heart rate (tachycardia), liver or kidney disease, or problems with the heart, stomach, or blood pressure. Artane may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Artane is a member of a class of drugs called anticholinergics. Artane is believed to work by influencing the balance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters enable the transmission of messages between nerves.
Some medications are available both as generic and branded products. Although generic and branded formulations of a drug contain the same active ingredients at the same concentrations, your body may react differently to different formulations. Check with your doctor before switching between drug brands or between generic and branded drugs.
How do I take it?
Your doctor may recommend that you receive a thorough eye exam from your ophthalmologist before you begin taking Artane.
Artane may be taken orally as a tablet, extended-release capsule, or liquid. Depending on which formulation of Artane you take, your doctor may instruct you to take it one to four times a day. Take Artane with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Artane. Alcohol can increase the intensity of some side effects.
Avoid driving or operating machinery while using Artane until you understand how it affects you.
Artane may cause you to stop sweating, also known as anhidrosis. Consult your doctor about changing your dosage of Artane during hot weather.
Do not stop using Artane suddenly. If you decide to stop using Artane, form a plan with your doctor for gradually tapering off your dosage to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Artane.
A 2009 article reviewed the results of nine clinical trials investigating the effectiveness and tolerability of anticholinergics such as Trihexyphenidyl (Artane) for motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The review covered the results of nine trials with a total of 221 participants. Researchers concluded that anticholinergics are an effective treatment for motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, especially tremors, but cause significant mental side effects.
Common side effects of Artane include drowsiness, dry mouth, difficulty or pain during urination, constipation, nervousness, vision changes, and increased sensitivity of your eyes to light. Artane may cause some symptoms of mental disorders to become more intense. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, fever, vomiting, weight loss, depression, extreme weakness, confusion, hallucinations, impulsive or psychotic behavior, vision changes, or eye pain while taking Artane.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue.