Reserpine (trade names Raudixin, Serpalan, Serpasil) is an indole alkaloid, antipsychotic, and antihypertensive drug that has been used for the control of high blood pressure and for the relief of psychotic symptoms. Reserpine irreversibly blocks the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT). This normally transports free intracellular norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the presynaptic nerve terminal into presynaptic vesicles for subsequent release into the synaptic cleft ("exocytosis"). The antihypertensive actions of reserpine are a result of its ability to deplete catecholamines (among other monoamine neurotransmitters) from peripheral sympathetic nerve endings. These substances are normally involved in controlling heart rate, force of cardiac contraction and peripheral vascular resistance.
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