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Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1985;5(6):413-8.

Use of a nonselective beta-blocker, nadolol, in the treatment of portal hypertension in cirrhotics.


Recently a medical treatment with propranolol has been proposed in order to decrease portal pressure and lessen the risk of recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding in cirrhotic patients. No data are available about another beta-blocker, nadolol, which, unlike propranolol, has a low hepatic metabolism, a low lipid solubility, a long serum half-life and does not reduce renal blood flow in patients with arterial hypertension. In 18 cirrhotics with portal hypertension, the effects of nadolol were studied on systemic and hepatic haemodynamics and liver function, at a dosage which reduced the heart rate by 25%. After one month of treatment, a significant decrease in cardiac output, portohepatic gradient and estimated hepatic blood flow were found. The degree of oesophageal varices was reduced in 11 patients, unchanged in the other seven. Hepatic function, evaluated by galactose eliminating capacity, did not change significantly. Although the small number of treated patients does not allow definitive conclusions, nadolol seems to have the features needed to be used in the medical treatment of portal hypertension in patients with liver cirrhosis.

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