We describe the basic pharmacological principles underlying the activity of the alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist clonidine, including its interactions with the cholinergic, histaminergic, serotoninergic, endorphinergic and possibly dopaminergic systems. The use of clonidine for the therapy of various neuropsychiatric indications in which it appears to be beneficial is described. These conditions include migraine, Korsakoff's psychosis, Tourette's syndrome, withdrawal states, tardive dyskinesia, essential tremor, neuroleptic-induced akathisia, neurogenic bladder, idiopathic orthostatic hypotension, paroxysmal localised hyperhydrosis, diabetic neuropathy and stiff-man syndrome. The need for long term evaluation of this agent in some of these diseases is stressed.
- Neuropsychiatric disorders
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