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Ann Clin Res. 1988;20 Suppl 48:42-50.

No difference in general well-being during antihypertensive treatment with atenolol or metoprolol CR.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Gothenburg University, Sahlgren's Hospital, Sweden.


Atenolol and metoprolol are the two most widely used beta 1-adrenoceptor antagonists in the treatment of essential hypertension. Differences in their physico-chemical properties have been the basis of a number of clinical studies whose primary or secondary objective has been to compare subjective well-being during treatment with these beta-selective blockers. The results are, however, contradictory, mainly due to factors such as open study design, different dose regimens and dissimilar study populations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare subjective well-being during treatment with atenolol (50 mg o.d.) and metoprolol CR (100 mg o.d.) in a randomized double-blind, cross-over study (2 x 6 weeks) in hypertensives not previously treated with either of the drugs studied. Two self-administered questionnaires (MSE-profile and Jern quality of life questionnaire) were filled in both before randomization and before follow up visits at 1, 3 and 6 weeks in each treatment period. Furthermore, subjective symptoms, blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. At the end of the study, patients were requested to state what treatment they preferred. Atenolol and metoprolol CR were found to be equally effective in reducing blood pressure (from 159/98 to 144/87 and 144/88 mm Hg, respectively, n = 74). The MSE-profile and the Jern quality of life questionnaire could not detect any differences between the two treatments as regards general well-being. Other subjective symptoms (e.g. diarrhoea, bradycardia, cold hands and feet) were uncommon and equally distributed among atenolol and metoprolol patients. 31 of the patients preferred metoprolol CR, 23 atenolol, while 20 had no preference.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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