PMID: 37605May 1, 1979

The beta-adrenergic blocking agents and the treatment of glaucoma

Survey of Ophthalmology
T J Zimmerman, W P Boger


The autonomic nervous system is divided into the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems, with three types of adrenergic receptors: alpha (smooth muscle contraction), beta1 (cardiac acceleration and fatty acid mobilization) and beta2 (smooth muscle relaxation). Substances affecting the function of the adrenergic system are the agonists or stimulators, which mimic the effects of endogenous norepinephrine or epinephrine, and antagonists or blockers, which block the receptors and prevent stimulation by the agonists. Autonomic stimulation in the eye mediates various changes which apparently affect outflow facility and rate of formation of aqueous humor. Alteration of either or both of these factors by autonomic agonists or antagonists may have a direct or an indirect effect on intraocular pressure. Beta-adrenergic blocking substances have been used to treat a variety of diseases. Some of the effects of these drugs are attributable to properties other than beta blockade, such as intrinsic sympathomimetic activity and local anaesthetic activity. Side effects of this class of drugs require caution in cases of congestive heart failure and in asthmatics. Autonomic agents used in the treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma include ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
Aqueous Flare
Autonomic Nervous System
Canis familiaris
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Physiologic Intraocular Pressure

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