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Chronobiol Int. 2007;24(3):471-93.

Dose- and administration time-dependent effects of nifedipine gits on ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.

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Bioengineering & Chronobiology Laboratories, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.


Previous chronotherapy studies have shown that the circadian pattern of blood pressure (BP) remains unchanged after either morning or evening dosing of several calcium channel blockers (CCB), including amlodipine, isradipine, verapamil, nitrendipine, and cilnidipine. This trial investigated the antihypertensive efficacy and safety profile of the slow-release, once-a-day nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) formulation administered at different times with reference to the rest-activity cycle of each participant. We studied 80 diurnally active subjects (36 men and 44 women), 52.1+/-10.7 yrs of age, with grade 1-2 essential hypertension, who were randomly assigned to receive nifedipine GITS (30 mg/day) as a monotherapy for eight weeks, either upon awakening in the morning or at bedtime at night. Patients with uncontrolled BP were up-titrated to a higher dose, 60 mg/day nifedipine GITS, for an additional eight weeks. BP was measured by ambulatory monitoring every 20 min during the day and every 30 min at night for 48 consecutive hours before and after therapy with either dose. The BP reduction after eight weeks of therapy with the lower dose of 30 mg/day was slightly, but not significantly, larger with bedtime dosing. The efficacy of 60 mg/day nifedipine GITS in non-responders to the initial 30 mg/day dose was twice as great with bedtime as compared to morning dosing. Moreover, bedtime administration of nifedipine GITS reduced the incidence of edema as an adverse event by 91%, and the total number of all adverse events by 74% as compared to morning dosing (p=0.026). Independent of the time of day of administration, a single daily dose of 30 mg/day of nifedipine GITS provides full 24 h therapeutic coverage. The dose-dependent increased efficacy and the markedly improved safety profile of bedtime as compared to morning administration of nifedipine GITS should be taken into account when prescribing this CCB in the treatment of essential hypertension.

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