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A vasoconstrictor, also vasopressor or simply pressor, is any substance that acts to cause vasoconstriction (narrowing of the lumena of blood vessels) and usually results in an increase of the blood pressure. The opposite process, vasodilation, is the opening of blood vessels. Vasoconstrictors are used in medicine to treat hypotension.

Many vasoconstrictors act on specific receptors, such as vasopressin receptors or adrenoreceptors. Vasoconstrictors are also used clinically to increase blood pressure or to reduce local blood flow. Exposure to moderately high levels of stress also induces vasoconstriction.

Examples of vasoconstrictors

Vasoconstrictors include systemic and topical. For example, phenylephrine is available systemic (i.e. orally ingested tablets like Sudafed PE), and topical (such as nose sprays like Neo-synephrine, and eye drops for pupil dilation purposes)

See also


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