α2-Adrenoceptor Agonists and Anesthesia

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Abstract

Clonidine, an α2-adrenoceptor agonist, was introduced into clinical practice as an antihypertensive medication more than 25 years ago [1]. Apart from its use as an antihypertensive medication, clonidine has been used for many conditions ranging from a variety of psychiatric disorders to the management of children with delayed growth [2–6]. In veterinary practice, α2 agonists have been used for several years in the practice of anesthesia. Experimental and clinical studies have progressed to the point where anesthesiologists are now focusing on the use of this class of agent for its analgesic and anesthetic effects. This renewed interest has coincided with the development and clinical introduction of superselective agonists such as dexmedetomidine.

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