Timing for administration of an antihypertensive drug in the treatment of essential hypertension.
To find the best timing for administration of long-acting antihypertensive drugs, we gave nitrendipine, a calcium antagonist of the dihydropyridine group, once a day to six hospitalized and drug-free patients with essential hypertension, changing the time of administration and studying the effects on the circadian rhythm of blood pressure. After control values of 24-hour blood pressure variations were taken with patients on placebo, a 10-mg tablet of nitrendipine was given for 3 days on three occasions--at 6 AM on awakening, at 8:30 AM after breakfast, and at 6 PM after supper; 24-hour blood pressure values for each period were recorded on the third day. The 24-hour blood pressure values during the control period showed a biphasic circadian rhythm, with higher values during wakefulness and lower values during sleep. The control period was also characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure on awakening, the so-called morning surge of blood pressure, and a gradual decline during sleep at night. Although the morning surge was not completely suppressed by nitrendipine given after breakfast, it was diminished by the drug given on awakening or after supper; the latter brought a deeper decline in blood pressure during sleep compared with other times. The average of 24-hour blood pressure values obtained by nitrendipine given on awakening was the lowest among the three occasions. Thus, administration of long-acting calcium antagonists with a rapid onset of action on awakening in the early morning seems to be a more rational and beneficial alternative than the conventional administration after breakfast.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association