alpha 1-antagonists in the treatment of hypertension.
A number of agents are now available to treat hypertension. One relatively new class of agents is the selective alpha 1-inhibitors, which have distinct advantages over earlier nonselective alpha-adrenergic receptor-blocking agents. Three alpha 1-inhibitors are reviewed in this article: prazosin, terazosin, and doxazosin. These alpha 1-inhibitors are similar in chemical structure and pharmacological action. alpha 1-Inhibitors lower blood pressure by reducing vascular tone in resistance and capacitance vessels. alpha 1-Inhibitors are similar in effectiveness in blood pressure lowering to other commonly used antihypertensive agents like the thiazide diuretic drugs and beta-blockers, which are efficacious as monotherapy in lowering pressure, as initial agents, or in combination with other antihypertensive agents in multidrug therapeutic regimens. alpha 1-Inhibitors are associated with a reasonably low incidence of serious adverse effects and are essentially free of any adverse metabolic effects. alpha 1-Inhibitors have been shown to beneficially effect blood lipids in several studies. The favorable lipid effect makes alpha 1-inhibitors especially appropriate to use in diabetic hypertensive and other patients with elevated serum lipid levels. The beneficial lipid effects may enhance the ability of alpha 1-inhibitors to prevent coronary heart disease, an outcome that has been difficult to demonstrate in thiazide-based trials.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association