The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) supplies all innervated structures of the body other than skeletal muscle, and its effects are therefore pervasive. The range of available ANS-active compounds can effectively modulate any or all body systems. The ANS-active agents include drugs used to treat a wide spectrum of conditions including hypertension, myocardial insufficiency, migraine, nasal congestion, obesity, Parkinson's disease, and glaucoma. Drugs from an array of therapeutic categories, including vasodilators, muscle relaxants, gastroprokinetics, and bronchodilators, can be classified as ANS agents.
This Handbook contains records for all the major drugs that mimic or block the actions of ANS neurotransmitters or whose activities involve a direct effect on ANS neurotransmitter production, destruction or reuptake, or on junctional transmission. Monographs are provided for 1,996 ANS agents. For each main entry, the following information is provided: the chemical name and a list of proprietary names and synonyms; the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number; the European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances (EINECS) number, and the Merck Index (12th edition) number. The physical properties of each compound are described and the known biological activity and indicated applications are presented. The structure of each compound is provided, together with a summary of the acute toxicity data associated with it, and the manufacturers and suppliers of the drug are also given. Indexes, including a master index of names and synonyms, are appended.