Phenylpropanolamine and other over-the-counter vasoactive compounds.
Phenylpropanolamine is a sympathomimetic amine that shares structural similarities with amphetamine and ephedrine. It increases blood pressure primarily by increasing peripheral vascular resistance. This effect is the result of alpha-adrenergic agonist activity largely from both direct stimulation of adrenergic receptors and release of neuronal norepinephrine. As such, it has the potential to interact with other drugs to produce toxic reactions, especially in treated hypertensive patients. Complications have occurred with single oral doses that suggest some normal subjects may be more sensitive to the drug than others. The incidence of serious complications in the general population is small but could be much higher in susceptible individuals (e.g., cardiomyopathic and hypertensive patients). The availability of high-dose phenylpropanolamine-containing preparations without medical supervision is potentially dangerous, and certain restrictions should be imposed on such preparations.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association