Alpha 2 adrenergic agonists. Neurochemistry, efficacy, and clinical guidelines for use in children

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1998 Oct;45(5):1099-22, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(05)70064-x.


The alpha 2 adrenergic agonists are used to treat a variety of psychiatric disorders and their usage has been increasing. This article presents the rationale and neurochemical basis for treatment of psychiatric disorders with alpha 2 agents, reviews studies examining clinical efficacy, and develops guidelines for usage. Case vignettes are presented to illustrate how the alpha 2 agents can successfully be used in practice.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists*
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Guanfacine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Locus Coeruleus / drug effects
  • Male
  • Tic Disorders / drug therapy*


  • Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Guanfacine
  • Clonidine