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Postganglionic Sympathetic Nerve Terminal Blockers and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors – Drugs in Hypertension

by Pravin Shukle, MD
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    Let's move on to the postganglionic sympathetic nerve terminal blockers. Now, reserpine is the prototypical drug in this class. It depletes norepinephrine from nerve terminals. I discussed this drug in the autonomic nervous system lecture previously. Guanethidine is another agent that depletes norepinephrine from the nerve terminals, and it also has some activity in blocking its release. Now, I want to have a bit of a controversial statement here. These drugs have frequent side effects. They are not very effective and they are just not used in clinical practice. Doctors who treat hypertension hate these drugs. I have a very large hypertension practice, I have not used reserpine in probably ten years. We rarely think about these medications. Pharmacologists love these drugs, and always put them on your exams. So, you need to know these drugs, even though none of your clinical teachers know them, because they are going to be on your exams whether we use them or not. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors actually do have some blood pressure activity. Remember that MAOs cause a false transmitter. They do cause lowering of blood pressure. In fact, even in patients who are using monoamine oxidase inhibitors for depression will have reduction in blood pressure. In fact, if you take a look at your psychiatric medication lecture and today's lecture, you'll see that I stole this image from the psychiatry lecture. Now, one of the things that I mentioned to you before in the psychiatry lecture is, foods high in Tyramine like cheese and wine can cause a release of a large amount of noradrenaline or norepinephrine. And this can cause a large increase in blood pressure. Have a look at that other lecture in antidepressants and you can see how that works. Now, these drugs have frequent side effects. They are...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Postganglionic Sympathetic Nerve Terminal Blockers and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors – Drugs in Hypertension by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course Cardiovascular Pharmacology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Postganglionic Sympathetic Nerve Terminal Blockers
    • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. acts by depleting norepinephrine (noradrenaline) from nerve terminals.
    2. acts by depleting norepinepherine (noradrenaline) from nerve terminals, and will also block NE/NA from being released from nerve endings.
    3. Is a very effective, commonly used medication in hypertension.
    4. Is a very effective, commonly used medication in psychiatry.
    1. form the false neurotransmitter that interferes with normal function.
    2. are assisted by foods high in tyramine like wine and cheese.
    3. are commonly used for hypertension.
    4. enhances alertness in patients with hypertension.

    Author of lecture Postganglionic Sympathetic Nerve Terminal Blockers and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors – Drugs in Hypertension

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD


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