Adrenergic and cholinergic compounds

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2007;(177):251-64. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-33823-9_9.


Adrenergic and cholinergic signalling contributes significantly to the endogenous antinociceptive system. Exogenous alpha 2 adrenergic agonists have a well-established analgesic profile; however, recent investigations suggest that this class of agents is underused, and herein we highlight the potential for both current application and future development of these agents. Nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic ligands represent a novel class of agents with much promise for the management of problematic pain. In this chapter we review advances in both preclinical and clinical arenas and highlight potential avenues for further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Adrenergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cholinergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cholinergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cholinergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / genetics


  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2