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July 18, 1953


Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas
From the departments of medicine and pharmacology, Baylor University College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1953;152(12):1121-1129. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690120037010

Causative factors in the development of hypertension are numerous; however, one common denominator in the hypertensive state appears to be sympathetic predominance over the vasoconstrictor mechanisms responsible for maintaining arterial blood pressure. Today, there are available a number of therapeutic agents that are capable of lowering the blood pressure by "blocking" the flow of nervous impulses over the sympathetic nervous system. The majority of these drugs are impractical for routine use, because of the development of tolerance or the presence of untoward side-effects or because they are destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract and must, therefore, be given parenterally. Despite this fact, great impetus has been given to the search for more effective agents that can be administered orally and that will lower the blood pressure on a long-term basis and thus arrest the progression of the disease. Frequently, original reports on potential hypotensive drugs are enthusiastic, yet, when the drugs