Alpha-adrenergic agonist

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 SNS 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.

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.


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