EFFECTS OF ATENOLOL WITHDRAWAL IN PATIENTS ON TRIPLE ANTIHYPERTENSIVE THERAPY

EG BEVAN, SD PRINGLE, PC WALLER, AL HERRICK, JG FINDLAY, GD MURRAY, HA CARMICHAEL, AR LORIMER, JL REID, RJ WEIR, GT MCINNES

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the contribution of beta-blockade to antihypertensive treatment regimens including an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or a calcium antagonist. The effects on BP control, adverse events, and plasma active renin concentration of removing atenolol from standard triple therapy (bendrofluazide and atenolol together with captopril or nifedipine) were assessed in a double-blind, randomised, parallel-group study, of eight weeks' duration in 46 patients from the Glasgow Blood Pressure Clinic.

Blood pressures rose in patients randomised to placebo-atenolol compared with those who continued active-atenolol although the difference did not achieve statistical significance. However, the proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure (supine systolic BP <140 mmHg plus supine diastolic BP <95 mmHg) fell from 31% to 0% over the study period in patients given placebo-atenolol. There was a trend for BP control to deteriorate most when atenolol was withdrawn from nifedipine treated patients, but the 95% confidence intervals for the difference from captopril-treated patients were wide. Few side-effects were seen and these did not differ quantitatively between the study groups. Plasma active renin concentration was initially higher in captopril-treated patients, and increased on withdrawal of atenolol in both groups.

Our findings suggest that beta-blockers make a clinically relevant contribution to treatment regimens including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or calcium antagonists when given as part of standard triple antihypertensive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1993

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