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(Science: chemical) octapeptide antidiuretic hormones released by the neurohypophysis of all vertebrates (chemical composition varies with species). They control water metabolism and balance by regulating lung, gill, kidney, etc., and water loss, and also contract smooth muscle. They may also be neurotransmitters. Also included are synthetic vasopressin derivatives. Vasopressins are used pharmacologically as renal agents, vasoconstrictor agents, and haemostatics.

Pharmacological action: haemostatics, renal agents, vasoconstrictor agents.