Central sympatholytic drugs

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Sep;13(9):658-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7176.2011.00509.x. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


• 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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Fatigue / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Sympatholytics / adverse effects
  • Sympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Sympatholytics / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2
  • Sympatholytics