Drugs which have the property of blocking transmission in autonomic nerve ganglia are at present being employed widely in the treatment of arterial hypertension. The agents most commonly employed are of the tetraethylammonium and the methonium groups. They act either by preventing de-polarization of the cellular membrane of the postganglionic neuron or by producing a prolonged depolarization with an associated absolute refractory state. During the blockade induced in this manner autonomically innervated structures of both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems do not respond to preganglionic stimulation but remain sensitive to postganglionic stimuli. Thus the sympathetic tone of small arterioles is depressed, resulting in a fall in peripheral vascular resistance and in blood pressure. Associated with this effect are other evidences of autonomic blockade such as interference with bladder and bowel motility, dryness of the mouth, inhibition of sweating, mydriasis, interference with accommodation, and impotence in the male.
ROSEN DA. Aqueous Humor FlowThe Effects of a Ganglionic Blocking Drug, Pentolinium, on Certain Aspects of Aqueous Humor Dynamics. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(3):361-365. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050373007