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Treatment of hypertension in the very old.

Author(s): Otterstad JE, Ruilope LM

Affiliation(s): Vestfold Sentralsykehus, Tonsberg, Norway.

Publication date & source: 2000-11, Int J Clin Pract Suppl., (114):10-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

The objective of this study was to compare the long-term efficacy and safety of 6 months' treatment with barnidipine and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) as monotherapy in patients aged > or = 75 years with mild to moderate essential hypertension. This was a randomised, double-blind, dose-titration study performed at 62 centres in 8 countries. A total of 397 patients were enrolled. Following a 4 week single-blind placebo runin, 315 patients with a sitting diastolic blood pressure (SiDBP) of 95-115 mmHg and a systolic blood pressure of 150-200 mmHg were randomised to receive barnidipine 10 mg (n = 159) or HCTZ 12.5 mg (n = 155) once daily. In patients who had not responded (SiDBP > 90 mmHg) after 6 weeks of double-blind treatment, the dose was titrated upwards to barnidipine 20 mg or HCTZ 25 mg. After 18 weeks, those who did not respond to the higher dose had enalapril (up to 10 mg once daily) added to their regimen. Statistically equivalent reductions in SiDBP were achieved with barnidipine and HCTZ monotherapy. At week 18 of double-blind treatment on monotherapy, 84% of patients in both groups were responders. The addition of enalapril in non-responders produced a further reduction in blood pressure. Both drugs were well tolerated. The incidence of drug-related adverse events was greater in the barnidipine than HCTZ-treated group but they were consistent with vasodilation and were categorised as mild to moderate. In conclusion, barnidipine and HCTZ are well tolerated and have equivalent long-term antihypertensive efficacy in older hypertensive patients. For patients whose blood pressure is inadequately controlled on monotherapy, combination therapy with enalapril is effective.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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