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Tetrahydrozoline: Wikis


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IUPAC name
CAS number 84-22-0
PubChem 5419
Molecular formula C13H16N2
Molar mass 200.28 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Tetrahydrozoline is a derivative of imidazoline, which is found in over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays. Other derivatives include naphazoline, oxymetazoline, and xylometazoline. Poisoning can result from an overdose.

Tetrahydrozoline is an alpha agonist[1] and its main mechanism of action is the constriction of conjunctival blood vessels. This serves to relieve the redness of the eye caused by minor ocular irritants.

An urban legend suggests that tetrahydrozoline can cause violent diarrhea if administered orally, such as by putting a few drops of Visine in an unsuspecting person's beverage. However, the actual results may be worse, varying from severe nausea and vomiting to seizures or a coma.[2] Diarrhea is not a side effect. (See Visine Prank.)


  1. ^ Dahlström M, Lindgren F, Berntsson K, et al. (July 2005). "Evidence for different pharmacological targets for imidazoline compounds inhibiting settlement of the barnacle Balanus improvisus". J. Exp. Zoolog. Part a Comp. Exp. Biol. 303 (7): 551–62. doi:10.1002/jez.a.163. PMID 15945078.  
  2. ^ Urban Legends Reference Pages: Visine Prank


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