The common name belladonna originates from its historic use by women - Bella Donna is Italian for beautiful lady. Drops prepared from the Belladonna plant were used to dilate women's pupils, an effect considered attractive. Today it is known that the atropine in Belladonna acts as an antimuscarinic, blocking receptors in the muscles of the eye that constrict pupil size. Belladonna is currently rarely used cosmetically, as it carries the adverse effects of causing minor visual distortions, inability to focus on near objects, and increased heart rate. Prolonged usage was reputed to cause blindness.