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Information about Reserpine

Reserpine is an oral antihypertensive medication that acts through inhibitor of alpha-adrenergic transmission and was one of the first antihypertensive agents introduced into clinical practice.

Liver safety of Reserpine

Despite widescale use for many years, reserpine has not been shown to cause clinically apparent liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Reserpine

Reserpine (re ser' peen) was one of the first antihypertensive agents developed for use in humans. It is an alkaloid extract of the Rauwolifia serpentine (thus its name) which is a climbing shrub found in India. Reserpine is thought to act by binding to adrenergic storage vesicles in neurons, inhibiting their capacity to concentrate and store norepinephrine and dopamine. The antihypertensive effect of reserpine correlates with the depletion of sympathetic amines in both the central nervous system and periphery. Reserpine is effective in lowering blood pressure and can be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive medications.

FDA approval information for Reserpine

Reserpine was approved for use in the United States in 1955 but is currently rarely used, largely because of its central nervous system effects and the availability of many better tolerated and more potent antihypertensive medications.

Dosage and administration for Reserpine

Reserpine continues to be available in generic forms as tablets of 0.1 and 0.25 mg. The typical maintenance dose in adults is 0.05 to 0.25 mg once daily.

Side effects of Reserpine

Side effects are common and include sedation, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, depression, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, postural hypotension, male impotence and gastrointestinal upset.

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