[res-er-pin, -peen, ruh-sur-pin, -peen]
noun Pharmacology.
an alkaloid, C 3 3 H 4 0 N 2 O 9 , obtained from the root of the rauwolfia, Rauwolfia serpentina, used in the treatment of hypertension.

1950–55; < German Reserpin, equivalent to reserp- (probably irregular < Neo-Latin Rauwolfia serpentina (Rauwolfia Rauwolfia + Late Latin serpentīna, feminine of serpentīnus serpentine)) + German -in -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
reserpine (ˈrɛsəpɪn)
an insoluble alkaloid, extracted from the roots of the plant Rauwolfia serpentina, used medicinally to lower blood pressure and as a sedative and tranquillizer. Its main adverse effect is mental depression. Formula: C33H40N2O9
[C20: from German Reserpin, probably from the New Latin name of the plant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

reserpine re·ser·pine (rĭ-sûr'pēn', -pĭn, rěs'ər-pĭn, -pēn', rěz'-)
A white to yellowish powder isolated from the roots of certain species of Asian shrubs and used as a sedative and an antihypertensive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


drug derived from the roots of certain species of the tropical plant Rauwolfia. The powdered whole root of the Indian shrub Rauwolfia serpentina historically had been used to treat snakebites, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and insanity. Reserpine, isolated in 1952, was the first of many Rauwolfia alkaloids found in the crude drug. Because the drug produces a profound and prolonged tranquilizing action, it was once used in treating schizophrenia. Reserpine is sometimes used in treating hypertension, though newer antihypertensive drugs with fewer central nervous system side effects are the preferred treatment

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Reserpine decreased the available serotonin, so that seemed to fit together nicely with the other discovery.
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