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Nebivolol for the Treatment of Essential Systemic Arterial Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Introduction

Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality worldwide, and systemic arterial hypertension is associated with a large number of these cases. The objective of health professionals and health policies should be searching for the best therapeutics to control this disease. A recent consensus indicated that β-blockers have recently lost their place in initial indications for the treatment of systemic arterial hypertension and are now more indicated for the treatment of hypertension in association with other clinical situations such as angina, heart failure and arrhythmia; however, it is known that this approach was based on studies that evaluated older β-blockers such as atenolol.

Objective

The main objective of this study was to perform a systematic review with subsequent meta-analysis on the use of nebivolol for hypertensive disease treatment, comparing it with drugs of the main antihypertensive classes.

Methods

This systematic review was based on a search of the MEDLINE (via Pubmed), Scopus, Cochrane, International Pharmaceuticals Abstracts (IPA), and Lilacs databases for randomized and double-blind clinical trials. In addition, we also searched for gray literature studies, to 31 July 2015. Next, a cumulative meta-analysis was performed, with studies being added in a sequential manner, evaluating their impact on the combined effect. For this project, we only meta-analyzed direct comparisons of random effect.

Results

Overall, 981 clinical trials were included in this systematic review. After careful analysis, 34 randomized and double-blind clinical trials were included to investigate the efficacy of nebivolol on systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) control and adverse effects. The study population comprised 12,465 patients with systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) aged between 18 and 85 years; 17% of subjects were of Black ethnicity, approximately 55% were men, and almost 10% had diabetes. In SBP management, nebivolol was superior to other β-blockers and diuretics and showed no difference in efficacy when compared with angiotensin receptor blockers or calcium channel blockers. There were insufficient studies on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for adequate comparison of both SBP and DBP control. For DBP control, nebivolol was more efficient than other β-blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, and calcium channel blockers.

Discussion

Nebivolol is a third-generation β-blocker with additional capabilities to improve blood pressure levels in patients with arterial hypertension, because it acts by additional mechanisms such as endothelium-dependent vasodilation associated with l-arginine and oxide nitric acid, nitric oxide activity on smooth muscle cells, decreasing platelet aggregation, and leukocyte adhesion in the endothelium, decreasing oxidative stress. Although nebivolol has shown good results in controlling hypertension in this study (with few adverse events when compared with placebo treatment) and has an unquestionable benefit in individuals with heart failure (mainly with reduced ejection fraction), there is a lack of studies proving the benefit of this drug for controlling hypertension and reducing clinical outcomes such as cardiovascular (or general) mortality, acute myocardial infarction, or stroke.

Conclusions

Nebivolol demonstrated at least similar control of blood pressure levels in hypertensive individuals when compared with drugs of the most used classes. In addition, in relation to the control of arterial hypertension, studies with clinical outcomes should be performed to ensure the use of this drug in detriment to others with these well-established results.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank their families for their support, and are always grateful to the Department of Pos Graduation in Internal Medicine and the Department of Cardiology Department of HC/UFPR.

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No external funding was used in the preparation of this review.

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Correspondence to Vinícius Bocchino Seleme.

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Vinícius Bocchino Seleme, Gustavo Lenci Marques, Antonio Eduardo Matoso Mendes, Inajara Rotta, Milena Pereira, Emilton Lima Júnior, and Claudio L. Pereira da Cunha declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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Seleme, V.B., Marques, G.L., Mendes, A.E.M. et al. Nebivolol for the Treatment of Essential Systemic Arterial Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs 21, 165–180 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40256-020-00422-0

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