Alpha-2 agonists

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Background

Central alpha agonists lower blood pressure by stimulating alpha-receptors in the brain which open peripheral arteries easing blood flow. These alpha 2 receptors are known as autoreceptors which provide a negative feedback in neurotransmission (in this case, the vasoconstriction effects of adrenaline). Central alpha agonists, such as clonidine, are usually prescribed when all other anti-hypertensive medications have failed. For treating hypertension, these drugs are usually administered in combination with a diuretic.

Medications

Adverse effects

  • sedation
  • drying of the nasal mucosa
  • rebound hypertension

See Also