Active Ingredient History
Phentolamine (trade name Regitine) is a reversible nonselective α-adrenergic antagonist used for the control of hypertensive emergencies, most notably due to pheochromocytoma. Phentolamine produces its therapeutic actions by competitively blocking alpha-adrenergic receptors (primarily excitatory responses of smooth muscle and exocrine glands), leading to a muscle relaxation and a widening of the blood vessels. This widening of the blood vessels results in a lowering of blood pressure. The action of phentolamine on the alpha-adrenergic receptors is relatively transient and the blocking effect is incomplete. The drug is more effective in antagonizing responses to circulating epinephrine and/or norepinephrine than in antagonizing responses to mediator released at the adrenergic nerve ending. Phentolamine also stimulates β-adrenergic receptors and produces a positive inotropic and chronotropic effect on the heart and increases cardiac output. Phentolamine is indicated for the prevention or control of hypertensive episodes that may occur in a patient with pheochromocytoma as a result of stress or manipulation during preoperative preparation and surgical excision. Phentolamine is indicated for the prevention or treatment of dermal necrosis and sloughing following intravenous administration or extravasation of norepinephrine. Phentolamine is also indicated for the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma by the Phentolamine blocking test. Acute and prolonged hypotensive episodes, tachycardia, and cardiac arrhythmias have been reported. In addition, weakness, dizziness, flushing, orthostatic hypotension, nasal stuffiness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur. NCATS
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