Centrally acting antihypertensives reduce arteriolar muscular tone by reducing sympathetic activity.
First generation drugs, such as clonidine and methydopa, act as alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists resulting in inhibition of the sympathetic nuclei in the rostroventrolateral medulla. Side-effects of these agents preclude their widespread use as first line hypertensive agents.
A second generation centrally-acting antihypertensive was subsequently introduced
- Moxonidine is an agonist at the imidazoline I1 receptor
- the I1 receptor is found in the rostroventrallateral medulla and in the kidney
- stimulation of I1 results in reduced sympathetic tone and a lowering of blood pressure
The summary of product characteristics should be consulted before prescribing this drug.
Last reviewed 01/2018