A new, slow release formulation of verapamil, “verapamil o.d.” was administered to 12 patients with essential hypertension.
Drug administration was started at a dose of 240 mg and increased to 480 mg after 2 weeks of treatment if the cuff blood pressure response was unsatisfactory.
The drug reduced the daytime intra-arterial blood pressure significantly from 180.7/106.8 mm Hg to 157.3/89.4 mm Hg. The daytime heart rate fell from 88.1 to 71.8 beats/min. The nighttime blood pressure decreased from 155.7/87.2 mm Hg to 140.5/75.3 mm Hg. The nocturnal heart rate decreased from 62.8 to 57 beats/min. Hourly plots of mean systolic and diastolic pressure showed a significant reduction of systolic pressure for 21 of 24 h and of diastolic pressure for all 24 h following a single morning dose. The drug modified the absolute blood pressure and heart-rate response during both forms of exercise, but did not alter the magnitude or rate of blood pressure change. The tilt-test produced no evidence of postural hypotension.
Only one patient experienced any side effects whilst taking the drug.
These results indicate good 24-h blood pressure control and reduced exercise blood pressure levels during treatment with this new formulation of verapamil. The reduced frequency of drug administration should improve patient complicance with treatment of hypertension.
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