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Medical Toxicology and Adverse Drug Experience

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 387–417 | Cite as

Non-Prescription Sympathomimetic Agents and Hypertension

  • S. S. Chua
  • S. I. Benrimoj
Review Article Adverse Drug Experience Review

Summary

In recent years, considerable attention has been focused on the pressor effects of non-prescription sympathomimetic agents. The impact and usage of these agents especially ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine and phenylephrine, in hypertensive patients has been the topic of constant debates. The present review is an attempt to report and evaluate all the clinical trials and cases of pressor reactions associated with these 4 agents. The study protocols used in these clinical trials are examined and comments made on any diversion from the standard design. Many factors are found to cause the discrepancies in the data available. It is concluded that ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine are best avoided by hypertensive patients due to higher probability of causing pressor reactions. Data on pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine appear to indicate non-significant effects on blood pressure of normotensive subjects when used at the recommended oral dose as nasal decongestants. Phenylephrine is also commonly employed in nasal and eye drops and the limited data available appear to support its usage in hypertensive patients. However, it is noted that most of the clinical trials involve normotensive subjects and the majority of the results could not be verified due to inadequacies in the study design. This paucity and inconclusive information on hypertensive patients warrants further investigations with emphasis on the study protocols used.

Keywords

Phenylephrine Blood Pressure Elevation Ephedrine Pseudoephedrine Normotensive Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© ADIS Press Limited 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Chua
    • 1
  • S. I. Benrimoj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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