Alpha-adrenergic agonist

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An adrenergic alpha-agonist (or alpha-adrenergic agonist) is a drug that selectively stimulates alpha adrenergic receptors. The alpha-adrenergic receptor has two subclasses α1 and α2.


Although complete selectivity between receptor agonism is rarely achieved, some agents have partial selectivity.

α1 agonists

α1 agonists: stimulates phospholipase C activity. (vasoconstriction and mydriasis; used as vasopressors, nasal decongestants and eye exams). Selected examples are:

α2 agonists

α2 agonists: inhibits adenylyl cyclase activity. (reduce brainstem vasomotor center-mediated CNS activation; used as antihypertensives, sedatives & treatment of opiate and alcohol withdrawal symptoms). Selected examples are:


The following agents are also listed as agonists by MeSH.[4]

Clinical significance

Alpha-adrenergic agonists are used in the treatment of glaucoma by decreasing the production of aqueous fluid by the ciliary bodies of the eye and also by increasing uveoscleral outflow.

See also


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External links

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  2. Sagvolden T (2006). "The alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine improves sustained attention and reduces overactivity and impulsiveness in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)". Behav Brain Funct. 2: 41. doi:10.1186/1744-9081-2-41. PMC 1764416Freely accessible. PMID 17173664. 
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  4. MeSH list of agents 82000316