Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon


share icon
share icon

What is Reserpine?

[Image will be uploaded soon]

Reserpine is a prescription medication derived from the roots of the tropical plant Rauwolfia. The powdered whole root of the Indian shrub Rauwolfia serpentina was traditionally used to treat snake bites, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and insanity. The first of many Rauwolfia alkaloids discovered in the crude drug, reserpine, was isolated in 1952. The drug was once used to treat schizophrenia due to its profound and long-lasting sedative effect. Reserpine is used to treat high blood pressure on occasion, but newer antihypertensive drugs with fewer central nervous system side effects are preferred.

[Image will be uploaded soon]

Reserpine is an alkaloid derived from the roots of Rauwolfia serpentina and vomitoria that functions as both an adrenergic uptake inhibitor and an antihypertensive. Reserpine is a lipid-soluble medication that can pass through the blood-brain barrier. This substance binds to and inhibits the catecholamine pump on storage vesicles in both central and peripheral adrenergic neurons, preventing norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin from entering presynaptic storage vesicles. Catecholamines and serotonin remain in the cytoplasm and are destroyed by intraneuronal monoamine oxidase, depleting catecholamine and serotonin stores in central and peripheral nerve terminals.

When nerve endings are depolarized, there is a lack of active transmitter discharge, resulting in a slower heart rate, lower arterial blood pressure, and sedative effects.

Why is this Medication Prescribed?

Reserpine is known to be a medication used to treat high blood pressure. It is also used to treat severe agitation in patients suffering from mental disorders. Reserpine belongs to a class of drugs known as rauwolfia alkaloids. It works by slowing the nervous system's activity, causing the heartbeat to slow and the blood vessels to relax.

How Should this Medicine Be Used?

Reserpine is available as a tablet for oral administration. It is usually taken once a day. Every day, take reserpine at the same time. You need to follow the directions on your prescription label exactly, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don't understand. Take the reserpine exactly as prescribed. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more frequently than your doctor has prescribed.

Reserpine reduces high blood pressure and agitation symptoms but does not cure them. Even if you feel fine, keep taking reserpine. Do not discontinue reserpine without first consulting your doctor. If you stop taking reserpine abruptly, there are chances that you might develop high blood pressure and experience other unwanted side effects.

What Side Effects Can this Medication Cause?

Reserpine may cause side effects. You need to inform your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dizziness

  • loss of appetite

  • diarrhoea

  • upset stomach

  • vomiting

  • stuffy nose

  • headache

  • dry mouth

  • decreased sexual ability

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms that have been listed, call your doctor immediately:

  • depression

  • nightmares

  • fainting

  • slow heartbeat

  • chest pain

  • swollen ankles or feet


Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to reserpine or if you have any other allergies before taking the medicine. Inactive ingredients in this product may cause allergic reactions or other problems. For more information, consult your pharmacist. If you have certain medical conditions, you should not take this medication.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication if you have current or previous depression (especially with suicidal thoughts/attempts), a current stomach/intestinal ulcer, a certain bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), or current shock treatments (electroconvulsive therapy-ECT).

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have a history of stomach/intestinal ulcers, gallbladder disease (gallstones), or liver disease before using this medication.

This medication might also cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in any sort of activity that requires alertness until you are confident that you can do so safely. Consume no alcoholic beverages. Inform your doctor or you need to inform your dentist that you are taking this medication before having surgery. Older adults may be more sensitive to the drug's side effects, especially dizziness.

This medication should be used only when necessary during pregnancy. Consult your doctor about the risks and benefits. Because this medication is excreted in breast milk, it may harm a nursing infant. Before you start breast-feeding, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

What is Reserpine Rauwolfia Used For?

Rauwolfia alkaloids are members of the antihypertensive medication class. They are used to treat hypertension (hypertension). High blood pressure puts additional strain on the heart and arteries. If it continues for an extended period of time, the heart and arteries may stop working properly.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Reserpine

1. What is the Use of Reserpine? How to Take the Medicine Reserpine?

Answer: Reserpine is an antihypertensive medication that is taken orally and works by inhibiting alpha-adrenergic transmission. It was one of the first antihypertensive medications to be used in clinical practice. Despite being widely used for many years, reserpine has not been shown to cause clinically significant liver damage.

Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, one to two times per day, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is determined by your medical condition as well as your response to treatment. Do not exceed the recommended dose or take it more frequently than prescribed. The possibility of serious side effects is increased. To get the most out of this medication, you need to take it on a regular basis. Take it at the same time each day to help you remember. It may take several weeks for you to fully benefit from this medication. Even if you are feeling well, it is critical to take this medication.

2. Where is Reserpine Found?

Answer: Reserpine is a drug derived from the roots of the tropical plant Rauwolfia. The powdered whole root of the Indian shrub Rauwolfia serpentina was traditionally used to treat snake bites, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and insanity.