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Revival of nifedipine, a dihydropyridine-based calcium blocker.

Author(s): Yamagishi S, Nakamura K

Affiliation(s): Department of Internal Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume 830-0011, Japan.

Publication date & source: 2007, Med Hypotheses., 68(3):565-7. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

A recent analysis by the Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists' Collaboration revealed that any commonly-used blood pressure (BP)-lowering regimen reduced the risk of total major cardiovascular events, and larger reductions in BP produced larger reductions in the risk. These observations suggest that most of the differences among treatment regimens in their effects on cardiovascular outcomes could be explained by the differences in achieved BP level. However, it may also be true that some treatment regimen is superior or inferior to others with regard to the risk reduction of cardiovascular events. Indeed, the data from dihydropyridine-based calcium antagonist (DHP) trails are consistent in that they could not protect against new-onset heart failure or progression of renal disease in patients with left-ventricular systolic dysfunction or overt proteinuria, respectively. However, a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind ACTION trial, which compared the effect of long-acting nifedipine or placebo on mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in patients with stable angina, revealed that nifedipine reduced the risk for new-onset overt heart failure by 29%. Further, an open-label, randomized prospective J-MIND trial, which compared the effect of long-acting nifedipine or enalapril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor on onset and progression of nephropathy in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes, showed that long-acting nifedipine had an equipotent reoprotective effect on diabetic nephropathy. In this paper, we would like to propose our hypothesis that nifedipine may be unique and superior in its effects on heart failure and proteinuria compared with various DHPs. For ensuring our hypothesis, the following clinical issues would be addressed. Does nifedipine treatment alone decrease the progression of renal disease with overt proteinuria? If these answers are yes, are these beneficial effects of nifedipine superior to that of other DHPs with equihypotensive properties? Does nifedipine treatment also reduce oxidative stress markers? Are these unique effects of nifedipine correlated with its anti-oxidative properties? These prospective studies will provide further valuable information whether nifedipine may be a preferred DHP to achieve BP goals in hypertensive patients with systolic dysfunction or overt proteinuria.

Page last updated: 2007-02-12

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