Adrenergic agonists, also known as adrenergic amines, function at the level of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). They produce their effects by acting on adrenergic receptors. These agents have a broad spectrum of activity including peripheral excitatory action on certain types of smooth muscle (blood vessels supplying skin, kidney, and mucous membranes), peripheral inhibitory action on certain other types of smooth muscle (gut, bronchial tree, blood vessels supplying skeletal muscle), positive inotropic and chronotropic effects on the heart, regulation of endocrine system, and central nervous system (CNS) action such as respiratory stimulation. They have a wide variety of clinical applications. In this chapter we will describe the mechanisms of adrenergic receptor activation and provide an overview of the major adrenergic agonists as well as an individual approach to the most common agents used in clinical practice including their potential harmful effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)