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papaverine (pəpăvˈərēn), alkaloid found in opium that acts as a muscle relaxant and vasodilator. The drug relaxes the smooth muscle of the larger blood vessels and is used to increase the blood supply to the brain or to the heart, as in the treatment of angina pectoris. It is also used in the treatment of some types of blood clot formation and in the treatment of impotence when the condition is caused by a lack of blood flow.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
an antispasmodic alkaloid that is found in opium. Papaverine is also produced synthetically. It is used in solutions and tablets for treating such spastic conditions as hypertension, angina pectoris, and irritable colon.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
C20H21O4N A white, crystalline alkaloid, melting at 147°C; soluble in acetone and chloroform, insoluble in water; used as a smooth muscle relaxant and weak analgesic, usually as the water-soluble hydrochloride salt.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.