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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
  • Caffeine

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

Review Date 1/31/2015

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.