Key Points: Central sympatholytic drugs reduce blood pressure mainly by stimulating central α 2-adrenergic receptors in the brainstem centers, thereby reducing sympathetic nerve activity and neuronal release of norepinephrine to the heart and peripheral circulation. This class of drugs, however, is currently used mainly as fourth-line (or beyond) drug therapy for hypertension because of side effects of drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth. Rebound hypertension is also another major concern in certain drugs with a short half-life, particularly in patients who are nonadherent to the regimen. Therefore, their use on a "PRN" basis for treatment of blood pressure surge in the absence of symptoms or acute target complications should also be avoided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine