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Current and Newer Agents for Hypertensive Emergencies


Hypertension is an increasingly prevalent chronic illness. The condition may present as a hypertensive crisis, and this entity may be further categorized as either hypertensive emergency or urgency. As the presentation is quite variable and is dependent upon the specific end-organ injury, a thorough history and examination are necessary. Once the underlying pathology is known, a target blood pressure can be determined and a specific therapeutic agent selected. The choice of most appropriate agent must take into consideration coexisting morbidities, desired rate of blood pressure decline, monitoring capabilities of the environment, and experience of the clinician. In hypertensive emergencies, the therapeutic goal is to protect remaining end-organ function, reduce the risk of complications, and thereby improve patient outcomes. This article reviews commonly used antihypertensive medications as well as evidence-based recommendations for state-of-the-art treatment for hypertensive emergencies.

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Conflict of Interest

Alan Padilla Ramos declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Joseph Varon is a consultant and part of the speaker’s bureau for the Medicines Company, Baxter Pharmaceutical and Cornerstone Pharmaceutical.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Joseph Varon.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Hypertensive Emergencies

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Padilla Ramos, A., Varon, J. Current and Newer Agents for Hypertensive Emergencies. Curr Hypertens Rep 16, 450 (2014).

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  • Hypertension
  • Hypertensive crisis
  • Hypertensive emergency
  • Hypertensive urgency
  • Blood pressure control
  • Nicardipine
  • Clevidipine
  • Labetalol
  • Clinical trials