That this action is a direct and not a nervous one is shown by the fact that if the eye be suddenly shaded the pupil will dilate a little, showing that the nerves which cause dilatation are still competent after the administration of physostigmine.
When this gland becomes enlarged, and its secretion consequently increases, the vessels dilate, the heart beats more rapidly, the skin becomes too hot, the nervous system becomes irritable, and tremors occur in the limbs.
Small doses of any of them dilate the blood vessels from an action on the vaso-motor centre in the medulla oblongata, as a result of which the heart beats more rapidly and the blood circulates more freely; but larger doses have a general depressing effect upon the circulatory system.
Drugs acting on the blood vessels, which either dilate the vessels when taken internally or applied locally, or contract the superficial arterioles.
Internally: Dilate solutions of potash, like other alkalis, are used to neutralize the poisonous effects of strong acids.