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The deliriants (or anticholinergics) are a special class of dissociatives which are antagonists for the acetylcholine receptors (unlike muscarine and nicotine which are agonists of these receptors). Deliriants are distinct from classical hallucinogens in that users will have conversations with people who aren't there, or become angry with a 'person' mimicking their actions, not realizing it is their own reflection in a mirror (a situation which could be dangerous if they became aggressive towards a glass mirror). The anticholinergics have effects akin to sleepwalking (particularly in that the subject has poor recall of the experience).

Included in this group are such Solanaceae plants as deadly nightshade, mandrake, henbane and datura (sometimes referred to as the Belladonna alkaloids), as well as a number of pharmaceutical drugs such as the antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and the antiemetics dimenhydrinate (Dramamine or Gravol) and scopolamine.

In addition to the danger of being far more out of touch with reality than with other drugs, and retaining a truly fragmented dissociation from regular consciousness without being immobilized, the anticholinergics are toxic, can cause death due to overdose, and also include plenty of uncomfortable side effects including an intense drying effect where sweat, saliva, mucus and urination are prevented, as well as a pronounced dilation of the pupils which can last for several days resulting in sensitivity to light, blurry vision and inability to read.

Deliriants are common to European mythology, including the plants mandrake, deadly nightshade, and various datura species.


Pharmacological classes of deliriants, and their general subjective effects

Entries marked with a # are naturally occurring.



  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
    dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
    cyclizine (Marezine or Marzine)

See also

Home | Up | Deliriants | Nicotinic antagonists

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