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Hypertension. 2005 Mar;45(3):380-4. Epub 2005 Feb 7.

Long-term effectiveness of extended-release nitrate for the treatment of systolic hypertension.

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Hypertension Unit, Block 1B, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, 2065, Australia.


Isosorbide mononitrate (ISMN) is effective in the short-term for decreasing systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and pulse wave reflection in patients with systolic hypertension. To determine whether tolerance negates the efficacy of this nitrate in the long-term, a placebo-controlled study was performed in which ISMN was withdrawn briefly in a group of patients (n=16) who had received extended-release ISMN 60 to 120 mg once daily for 16 to 109 months. Blood pressure and wave reflection were determined by 24-hour ambulatory recorder and tonometer, respectively. During a 4-hour delay of the regular morning dose of ISMN, mean systolic blood pressure was higher than with the regular ISMN dosing schedule (P<0.0001). The maximum placebo-active difference was 16+/-4 mm Hg. The corresponding difference in augmentation index (a measure of pulse wave reflection) corrected for heart rate was 25+/-4% (P<0.001). The difference in pulse pressure was 13+/-3 mm Hg (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in diastolic blood pressure. For a subgroup (n=12) in which the effects of a single ISMN dose had been determined at the initiation of regular ISMN therapy, the mean change in augmentation index was of similar magnitude to that observed in their initial study. Thus, tolerance does not seriously diminish the antihypertensive efficacy of ISMN used as adjunct therapy in the chronic treatment of systolic hypertension. This agent lowers systolic blood pressure sufficiently to achieve therapeutic goal in some patients refractory to conventional treatment regimens.

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