Uses for central-acting agents

Doctors prescribe central-acting agents to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hot flashes
  • Alcohol or drug withdrawal
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Tourette syndrome

Side effects and cautions

These medications can have strong side effects, so they aren't commonly used. Side effects include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Impotence
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Psychological problems, such as depression

Abruptly stopping use of some central-acting agents can cause a sudden, dangerous increase in blood pressure. Don't stop taking these medications, especially if you are taking a beta blocker, without talking to your doctor.

Feb. 01, 2014 See more In-depth