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Organophosphate poisoning describes a general group of toxic exposures to a related group of chemicals which interfere with nerve function. Organophosphates are the most common type of pesticides and herbicides and individuals can be easily exposed by inhaling the material, ingesting it on contaminated food, or absorbing it through the skin.
Treatment for unspecified exposure to organophosphates is atropine. Atropine is more effective at binding to certain receptors in nerve cells than are organophosphates which prevents the organophosphates from having their effect. However, atropine is not without side effects, most importantly its effect on increasing the heart rate. As such, patients have to have their vital signs continuously monitored.