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March 1986

Twice-Daily Administration of Oral Verapamil in the Treatment of Essential Hypertension

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(3):561-565. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360150199024

• The antihypertensive effect of twice-daily administration of verapamil hydrochloride was evaluated in 21 adult patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension. Following four weeks of placebo therapy, verapamil was given for four weeks with a treatment goal of sitting diastolic blood pressure (BP) of less than 90 mm Hg, or to a maximum dose of 160 mg twice daily. Sitting and standing BPs, heart rate, and verapamil plasma levels were determined weekly, ten to 12 hours post dose. At the maximal dose (mean, 154 ±19.2 mg), heart rate was not affected, side effects were minimal, and sitting diastolic BP was significantly reduced from placebo baseline, with 12 of 21 patients having a fall in sitting diastolic BP of 10 mm Hg or more or to less than 90 mm Hg. A trough verapamil plasma level of greater than 80 ng/mL was associated with a good hypotensive response. These data indicate the safety and utility of twice-daily verapamil administration for the treatment of essential hypertension and suggest the value of obtaining verapamil plasma levels as a guide to dosage determination.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:561-565)

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