Effect of food on blood hydralazine levels and response in hypertension

Alexander M.M. Shepherd, Norman A. Irvine, Thomas M. Ludden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A study with a nonspecific hydralazine assay reported that food increased hydralazine concentrations in plasma. We used a specific HPLC hydralazine assay to determine the effect of food on hydralazine blood levels and hemodynamic responses after oral hydralazine. Six subjects with uncomplicated essential hypertension were given 1 mglkg hydralazine solution orally on two occasions at least 3 days apart. On I study day subjects fasted and on the other they were given a standard meal 45 min before hydralazine. Mean arterial pressure and heart rate were monitored for 2 hr before and for 4 hr after hydralazine and frequent venous blood samples were drawn for hydralazine assay. Hepatic blood flow was estimated by determination of indocyanine green clearance before food, after food, and 30 min after hydralazine. Peak blood hydralazine concentrations fell in all (46.2% ± 11.5%; X ± SE) and areas under the blood hydralazine concentration /time curves fell (45.7% +- 9.5%) after food. This could not be explained by changes in liver blood flow. Food-related reductions in blood levels of hydralazine were associated with reduced vasodepressor effects (41.5% ± 5.6%). It is possible that food increases intravascular conversion of hydralazine to hydralazine pyruvic acid hydrazone. The reduction in vasodepressor response suggests that patients with hypertension should take hydralazine at a fixed time in relation to meals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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