Document Detail

"Inappropriate" physician habits in prescribing oral nifedipine capsules in hospitalized patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8896658     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Despite the absence of an approved Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indication, the use of oral or "sublingual" nifedipine for hypertension in the hospitalized patient has become an increasingly common practice. The purpose of the study was to assess the clinical circumstances for which the drug was being prescribed and the practices of attending and resident physicians. Dosing of oral nifedipine capsules in medical and surgical inpatients was studied prospectively in three central Connecticut hospitals (University, community-teaching, and private nonteaching) during a 60-day period from January to March, 1994. Through evaluation of computerized pharmacy and medical records, data were collected on diagnostic reasons for ordering nifedipine, pre- and posttreatment blood pressures, dosing frequency, clinical documentation associated with drug prescription, and adverse events. Physicians and nurses at the respective hospitals were unaware of the conduct of the study. The incidence of nifedipine capsule administration at all three hospitals was 3.4% (152 dosings in 83 patients/4489 hospitalized patients/ 60 days). Practice habits and blood pressure changes differed minimally among hospitals and physicians. Sixty-three percent of nifedipine orders were given over the telephone for arbitrary and asymptomatic blood pressure elevations and 98% of the orders lacked bedside patient evaluation. Follow-up of the blood pressure was performed within 1 h in 51% of patients and within 2 h in 24%, while in 25% there was no documentation of follow-up until 2 to 6 h after nifedipine dosing. Mean pretreatment blood pressure was 186/94 +/- 20/16 mm Hg (range: 150 to 260 mm Hg systolic and 50 to 125 mm Hg diastolic). Blood pressure fell 32/16 +/- 22/16 mm Hg (range: -92 to +8 mm Hg systolic and -90 to +28 mm Hg diastolic) and was related to the level of pretreatment blood pressure (r = 0.53 for systolic blood pressure, and r = 0.49 for diastolic blood pressure, P < .001 for both). Large, asymptomatic blood pressure reductions were common. One hypertensive patient experienced severe hypotension accompanied by an anterior wall myocardial infarction. These data demonstrate inappropriate physician prescribing of oral nifedipine in hospitalized patients characterized by a lack of proper assessment prior to drug dosing, highly arbitrary treatment parameters that were written without regard for symptoms or underlying illnesses, and slow follow-up for evaluation of the clinical response to therapy.
F Rehman; G A Mansoor; W B White
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of hypertension     Volume:  9     ISSN:  0895-7061     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Hypertens.     Publication Date:  1996 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-02-11     Completed Date:  1997-02-11     Revised Date:  2009-02-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8803676     Medline TA:  Am J Hypertens     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1035-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06032-3940, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Oral*
Calcium Channel Blockers / administration & dosage*
Hypertension / drug therapy*
Nifedipine / administration & dosage*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Calcium Channel Blockers; 21829-25-4/Nifedipine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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