Intravenous fenoldopam versus sodium nitroprusside in patients with severe hypertension.
In an open-label study, we compared the efficacy and safety of intravenous infusion of fenoldopam mesylate with that of sodium nitroprusside in patients with severe hypertension or in hypertensive crisis. Both antihypertensive medications were infused at a maximal dose increment of 0.2 microgram/kg/min (fenoldopam) and 1 microgram/kg/min (nitroprusside), with a maximal infusion rate of 1.5 micrograms/kg/min fenoldopam mesylate or 8 micrograms/kg/min sodium nitroprusside. Once the desired reduction in diastolic blood pressure was achieved (less than 110 mm Hg if initial diastolic blood pressure was 120-149 mm Hg, or by at least 40 mm Hg if initial diastolic blood pressure was 150-190 mm Hg), the maximal infusion rate used was maintained for at least 1 hour, and then, the infusion was slowed gradually over 2 hours. After the infusion treatment, patients remained in the hospital for 2 days of follow-up. Both antihypertensive agents successfully controlled the blood pressure in all the patients by the end of the maintenance periods. Between the baseline and the end of the maintenance period, analysis of variance showed that the changes in the variables induced by fenoldopam mesylate did not differ significantly from those induced by sodium nitroprusside. The incidence of side effects listed were similar in both groups of patients. The detection of toxic levels of thiocyanate in two patients treated with nitroprusside, however, shows that fenoldopam might be preferable for the control of a hypertensive crisis or severe hypertension in patients with decreased renal function.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association