This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Learn more about cookies and how to manage them.

Comparison of once‐daily nifedipine controlled‐release with twice‐daily nifedipine retard in the treatment of essential hypertension

Article date: May 2004

By: Junichi Minami, Atsushi Numabe, Norikazu Andoh, Naohiko Kobayashi, Shigeo Horinaka, Toshihiko Ishimitsu, Hiroaki Matsuoka, in Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 632-639


Nifedipine is a short‐acting calcium antagonist formulated into several different oral preparations, each of which may have different effects on haemodynamics and autonomic nervous function. We compared the effects of nifedipine controlled‐release (CR) and nifedipine retard on 24‐h blood pressure, heart rate, rate–pressure product, and power spectral measures of heart rate variability in patients with essential hypertension.


After 4 weeks of a drug‐free period, 25 patients were randomized to receive either once‐daily treatment with nifedipine CR (20–40 mg daily; 12 patients) or twice‐daily treatment with nifedipine retard (20–40 mg daily; 13 patients) for 12 weeks. The ambulatory blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG R–R intervals were measured during a 24‐h period using a portable recorder (TM‐2425) at the end of the drug‐free and the treatment periods. A power‐spectral analysis of R–R intervals was performed to obtain the low‐frequency (LF) and high‐frequency (HF) components.


Nifedipine CR and nifedipine retard reduced 24‐h blood pressure significantly by 15.9 ± 3.2 (SE)/8.7 ± 1.4 mmHg and by 10.9 ± 2.8/9.4 ± 1.7 mmHg, respectively, after the 12‐week treatment. Nifedipine CR did not change the 24‐h heart rate sig‐nificantly, while nifedipine retard increased it significantly by 3.9 ± 2.1 beats min−1. Nifedipine CR produced a significant reduction in rate–pressure product throughout a 24‐h period, while nifedipine retard did not change the rate–pressure product significantly. In addition, nifedipine retard significantly decreased the 24‐h and daytime average values of the LF and HF components, while nifedipine CR affected the nighttime LF component alone and did not change the HF component throughout a 24‐h period.


These results demonstrate that both nifedipine CR and nifedipine retard are effective as antihypertensive agents, but nifedipine CR has less influence on the autonomic nervous system and heart rate than nifedipine retard.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2003.02056.x

View this article