It was recently found that the rise of blood pressure leads to the excitation of a vasomotor centre in the brain stem
and that the accompanying decrease in brain cortex excitability results in the reduced sensitivity to various adverse
stimuli. Centrally acting antihypertensives, moxonidine and rilmenidine, do not impair circulatory reflexes and
therefore do not deprive the patient of a chance to resist the pressure; thus the compliance of the patient might be
increased. Both drugs activate I1-imidazoline receptors on the neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata.
The reduction of neuronal firing rate results in the decrease of sympathetic activity and arterial pressure. Beside other
advantages, centrally acting antihypertensives might be more promising than peripherally acting drugs due to their possible
more favourable psychopharmacological profile; this component of their action might be underestimated at present.
essential hypertension, patient compliance, moxonidine, rilmenidine, imidazoline receptors.