Because atropine relieves cramps and pain, it’s found in all kinds of medical drugs. In the homeopathic world it’s used to treat headache and stomach-ache.

In the medical world I’ve long been used as a pre-med, given before an anaesthetic, to reduce the patient’s saliva production.

Another intriguing fact is that I am the perfect antidote to an attack by a deadly nerve gas such as VX or sarin. Nerve gasses work by overstimulating the nervous system, which leads to a very slow heartbeat and the inability to breathe.

I can prevent this by being injected directly into the bloodstream or into a muscle. The Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, for instance, was given atropine after he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

Kim Jong-nam – the older half-brother of Kim Jong-un – was assassinated using the nerve gas VX. During the suspects’ trial, toxicologists revealed that he’d actually been carrying some bottles of atropine in his bag at the time of the murder.

In other words it looked as if he’d been expecting an attack. But why didn’t he use them? No-one knows.