Behaviour of acetylcholine at the synapse

This will all be the same in any cholinergic synapse, be it neuromuscular or parasympathetic

Once again, this is one of those things best described with a humongous diagram.

acetylcholine metabolism release and storage

Drugs affecting choline reuptake
  • Hemicholinium
Drugs inhibiting acetylcholine release
  • Botulinum toxin
Drugs inhibiting acetylcholinesterase
  • Neostigmine
  • Physostigmine
  • Galantamine
  • Donepezil
  • Sarin nerve gas
  • Organophosphates


For this sort of really basic stuff, no matter where you look you will find essentially the same information.

I used chapters from "Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics" 11th ed by Brunton et al, and "Basic & Clinical Pharmacology" 11th ed. By Katzung et al.

I also perused Peck and Hill "Pharmacology for Anaesthesia and Intensive care" as well as the notoriously error-prone "Handbook of Pharmacology and Physiology in Anaesthetic Practice" by Stoelting and Hillier. Neither covered this subject in a depth I found satisfying.

Goodman and Gilman's remains a canonical text.