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Long-acting dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers and sympathetic nervous system activity in hypertension: A literature review comparing amlodipine and nifedipine GITS.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22762301     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) constitute a diverse group of compounds but are often referred to as a single homogeneous class of drug and the clinical responses indiscriminately summarized. Even within the dihydropyridine subgroup, there are significant differences in formulations, pharmacokinetics, durations of action and their effects on blood pressure, heart rate, end organs and the sympathetic nervous system. Amlodipine and nifedipine in the gastrointestinal transport system (GITS) formulation are the most studied of the once-daily CCBs. Amlodipine has an inherently long pharmacokinetic half-life, whereas, in contrast, nifedipine has an inherently short half-life but in the GITS formulation the sophisticated delivery system allows for once-daily dosing. This article is derived from a systematic review of the published literature in hypertensive patients. The following search terms in three main databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Science Citation Index) from 1990 to 2011 were utilized: amlodipine, nifedipine, sympathetic nervous system, sympathetic response, sympathetic nerve activity, noradrenaline, norepinephrine and heart rate. More than 1500 articles were then screened to derive the relevant analysis. As markers of sympathetic nervous system activation, studies of plasma norepinephrine concentrations, power spectral analysis, muscle sympathetic nerve activity and norepinephrine spillover were reviewed. Overall, each drug lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients in association with only small changes in heart rate (i.e. <1 beat/min). Plasma norepinephrine concentrations, as the most widely reported marker of sympathetic nervous system activity, showed greater increases in patients treated with amlodipine than with nifedipine GITS. The evidence indicates that both these once-daily dihydropyridine CCBs lower blood pressure effectively with minimal effects on heart rate. There are small differences between the drugs in the extent to which each activates the sympathetic nervous system with an overall non-significant trend in favour of nifedipine GITS.
Authors:
Corey B Toal; Peter A Meredith; Henry L Elliott
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-7-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Blood pressure     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1651-1999     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-7-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9301454     Medline TA:  Blood Press     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto , Toronto , Canada.
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