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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies: systematic review and meta-analysis

Review published: 2009.

Bibliographic details: Souza LM, Riera R, Saconato H, Demathe A, Atallah AN.  Oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies: systematic review and meta-analysis. Sao Paulo Medical Journal 2009; 127 (6) : 366-372. [PubMed: 20512292]


CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Hypertensive urgencies are defined as severe elevations in blood pressure without evidence of acute or progressive target-organ damage. The need for treatment is considered urgent but allows for slow control using oral or sublingual drugs. If the increase in blood pressure is not associated with risk to life or acute target-organ damage, blood pressure control must be implemented slowly over 24 hours. For hypertensive urgencies, it is not known which class of antihypertensive drug provides the best results and there is controversy regarding when to use antihypertensive drugs and which ones to use in these situations. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies.

METHODS: This systematic review of the literature was developed at the Brazilian Cochrane Center, and in the Discipline of Emergency Medicine and Evidence-Based Medicine at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), in accordance with the methodology of the Cochrane Collaboration.

RESULTS: Sixteen randomized clinical trials including 769 participants were selected. They showed that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors had a superior effect in treating hypertensive urgencies, evaluated among 223 participants. The commonest adverse event for calcium channel blockers were headache (35/206), flushing (17/172) and palpitations (14/189). For angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, the principal side effect was bad taste (25/38).

CONCLUSIONS: There is important evidence in favor of the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for treating hypertensive urgencies, compared with calcium channel blockers, considering the better effectiveness and the lower frequency of adverse effects (like headache and flushing).

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

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