Comparison of the Efficacy of Dihydropyridine Calcium Channel Blockers in African American Patients With Hypertension

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Hypertension is a prevalent disease among African Americans, and successful treatment rates are low. Since calcium channel blockers are well-tolerated and efficacious in African Americans, we undertook this study to compare the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 3 commonly prescribed calcium channel blockers: amlodipine besylate (Norvasc), nifedipine coat core (CC) (Adalat CC), and nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) (Procardia XL).


One hundred ninety-two hypertensive patients across 10 study centers were randomly assigned to double-blind monotherapy with amlodipine besylate (5 mg/d), nifedipine CC (30 mg/d), or nifedipine GITS (30 mg/d) for 8 weeks. Patients not achieving therapeutic response after 4 weeks had their dose doubled for the next 4 weeks. The primary end point was a comparison of the average reduction (week 8 minus baseline) in 24-hour ambulatory diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Secondary end points included a comparison of average 24-hour ambulatory systolic blood pressure (SBP), office SBP or DBP reduction, responder rates, safety, and tolerability.


One hundred sixty-three patients were evaluable for efficacy after 8 weeks. There was no significant difference in the average 24-hour ambulatory DBP (-8.5, -9.0, and -6.1 mm Hg, respectively) or SBP (-14.3, -15.7, and -11.8 mm Hg, respectively) reduction. Average office SBP and DBP were reduced to a comparable degree (19-22 mm Hg [P=.50] and 12-14 mm Hg [P=.51], respectively). Responder rates (DBP <90 or reduced by >or= to 10 mm Hg) were similar (P=.38). Discontinuation rates and adverse event frequency were distributed similarly across the 3 treatment groups.


The efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the 3 dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers are equivalent in African Americans with stages 1 and 2 hypertension.

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