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December 1, 1978

Prazosin and Clonidine for Moderately Severe Hypertension

Author Affiliations

From the Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, Houston.

JAMA. 1978;240(23):2553-2556. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290230045023

In a single-blind comparative study of the cases of 30 moderately hypertensive patients, clonidine hydrochloride and prazosin hydrochloride had similar effectiveness in lowering blood pressure. Neither agent had significant effects on the renin-aldosterone axis. Addition of polythiazide to prazosin and chlorthalidone to clonidine notably increased the antihypertensive effect of both drugs. Serum cholesterol levels were observed to decrease when prazosin and clonidine were given and to rise when the diuretics were added to the regimen. The patients treated with clonidine were troubled by side effects, particularly drowsiness and dry mouth. Prazosin was better tolerated, with side effects tending to diminish with time. The "first-dose" effect was seen in two patients given prazosin, but it did not limit treatment. Both diuretics induced notable hypokalemia.

(JAMA 240:2553-2556, 1978)