Cholinergic (parasympathomimetic) agents are drugs which when administered
will mimic the action of acetylcholine or normal parasympathetic stimulation. As you will
remember (lesson 6), the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for bringing
the body back to normal after the fight or flight response. The parasympathetic
(cholinergic) nervous system is responsible for maintaining the daily functions
performed within the body. This division of the autonomic nervous system serves to
9-2. REVIEW OF THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE CHOLINERGIC
PARASYMPATHETIC) NERVOUS SYSTEM
The cholinergic (parasympathetic) nervous system is stimulated by the
hypothalamus. This nervous system has long preganglionic fibers and short
postganglionic fibers (see Figure 9-1). The short postganglionic fibers are usually
located within the effector organ.
Figure 9-1. The cholinergic (parasympathetic) nervous system.