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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Rauwolfia Alkaloids

Rauwolfia Alkaloids (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects | Additional Information

  • Antihypertensive - Deserpidine; Rauwolfia Serpentina; Reserpine
  • Vasospastic therapy adjunct - Deserpidine; Rauwolfia Serpentina; Reserpine

Rauwolfia alkaloids belong to the general class of medicines called antihypertensives. They are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.

Rauwolfia alkaloids work by controlling nerve impulses along certain nerve pathways. As a result, they act on the heart and blood vessels to lower blood pressure.

Rauwolfia alkaloids may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

These medicines are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Deserpidine
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Rauwolfia Serpentina
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Reserpine
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Harmonyl 1
  • Raudixin 2
  • Rauval 2
  • Rauverid 2
  • Serpalan 3
  • Wolfina 2

In Canada -

  • Novoreserpine 3
  • Reserfia 3
  • Serpasil 3


For quick reference, the following rauwolfia alkaloids are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Deserpidine (de-SER-pi-deen)†
2. RauwolfiaSerpentina (rah-WOOL-fee-aser-pen-TEE-na)†‡
3. Reserpine (re-SER-peen)‡
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.


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Rauwolfia Alkaloids: Before Using

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