Ephedrine has α agonist activity. Ephedrine works to release stored catecholamines and is an indirect general agonist. This drug works to constrict smooth muscle of resistance blood vessels, such as those in the skin and splanchnic beds, causing increased peripheral resistance and venous return.
Ephedrine acts on both β1 and β2 adrenergic receptors and acts to increase heart rate and contractility. Furthermore, it increases lipolysis and renin release, while causing vasodilation. Drugs acting on β receptors also decrease uterine tone, lead to ciliary muscle relaxation and increase aqueous humor production.
Ephedrine is indicated for nasal decongestion.
Ephedrine is indicated for orthostatic hypotension, due to the α1 agonist effect of increased blood pressure.
Ephedrine can be used to treat urinary incontinence, as it works to constrict urinary sphincters and vasoconstricts renal arteries.
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