The extent and duration of the blood pressure (BP) lowering effect of 20 mg nitrendipine (NIT) once daily and 40 mg nicardipine slow release (NIC) twice daily were compared in 12 men (aged 39-55 years) with mild essential hypertension according to a randomized, cross over study. Twenty-four-hour non invasive ambulatory BP monitoring (Spacelabs 5200) was performed at the end of a 2-week placebo run-in and after 4 weeks of each active treatment; automatic BP measurements were programmed at 15-min intervals. Both treatments significantly (p less than .01) reduced mean 24-hour and daytime systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP, but had different effects on daytime BP profiles. NIT decreased SBP and DBP (p less than .05) in 5 out of 8 two-hour subperiods (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), followed by a loss of effect; NIC reduced SBP and DBP (p less than .05) in 7 out of 8 two-hour subperiods (from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.). During the night-time, NIT reduced mean SBP (p less than .05) and NIC both mean SBP and DBP values (p less than .05; p less than .05 vs NIT for SBP). Heart rate was not affected by either treatment. Thus, after short-term treatment in mild essential hypertensives nitrendipine once daily was not as effective as nicardipine slow release twice daily in reducing blood pressure throughout the 24 hours
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