Sympathomimetic amines are drugs that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and induce various responses. These types of drugs can be classified as catecholamines or noncatecholamines.
Adrenaline is a natural catecholamine sympathomimetic amine that stimulates the central nervous system and affects respiration, metabolism and cardiovasular function. Dopamine is also a catecholamine sympathomimetic amine and its effects are similar to a lower dose of adrenaline. Examples of noncatecholamine sympathomimetic amines include ephedrine, phenylephrine, methoxamine and salbutamol. Ephedrine, a well-known drug, is derived from the ma huang plant. This synthetic stimulant has the same effects as adrenaline, but its effects tend to last for a longer period of time.