Inhibition Of Synthesis Of Transmitter

Metirosine (a-methyl-p-tyrosine) is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase, which converts tyrosine to dopa; as dopa is further converted to noradrenaline and adrenaline they are similarly depleted by metirosine. It is used as an adjuvant (with phenoxybenzamine) to treat phaeo-chromocytomas that cannot be removed surgically. Catecholamine synthesis is reduced by up to 80% over 3 days. It also readily penetrates the CNS and depletes brain noradrenaline and dopamine causing reserpine-like side effects (see above). Hence, in patients whose life expectancy is threatened more by tumour invasion than by mild or moderate hypertension, the need for the drug should be weighed carefully.

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