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Vasoconstriction

Vasoconstriction is the narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels by small muscles in their walls. When blood vessels constrict, blood flow is slowed or blocked.

Vasoconstriction may be slight or severe. It may result from disease, drugs, or psychological conditions. Medicines that cause vasoconstriction include:

  • Decongestants, including pseudoephedrine
  • Cough and cold combinations

Medicines may be used to increase or reduce vasoconstriction in very ill people.

References

Taber's Medical Dictionary Online website. www.tabers.com/tabersonline. Accessed March 7, 2019.

Review Date 2/7/2019

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.