The antihypertensive mechanism of clonidine in man. Evidence against a generalized reduction of sympathetic activity.
Recording of multi-unit sympathetic activity were made from muscle branches of the peroneal nerve during i.v. bolus injection of 100 to 275 micrograms clonidine in seven hypertensive patients. Blood pressure was reduced in all patients, but sympathetic activity and heart rate could either increase or decrease. When plasma levels of clonidine were low, sympathetic activity tended to increase, and when plasma levels were high, activity tended to decrease. Irrespective of whether mean level of sympathetic activity increased or decreased with the fall in blood pressure level, transient fluctuations of blood pressure continued to cause dynamic baroreflex modulation of the sympathetic outflow. It is suggested that the drug influences sympathetic outflow by a combination of central and peripheral effects.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association