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[res-er-pin, -peen, ruh-sur-pin, -peen] /ˈrɛs ər pɪn, -ˌpin, rəˈsɜr pɪn, -pin/
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 < New 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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reserpine
  • reserpine decreased the available serotonin, so that seemed to fit together nicely with the other discovery.
British Dictionary definitions for reserpine


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
Word Origin
C20: from German Reserpin, probably from the New Latin name of the plant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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reserpine in Medicine

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 Article for reserpine

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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