Sustained-release diltiazem compared with atenolol monotherapy for mild to moderate systemic hypertension

Matthew R. Weir, John Josselson, Mark J. Giard, J. Bryan Warren, Jeffrey N. Posner, Y. W.Francis Lam, Darwin E. Zaske, Elijah Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The daily administration of 240 to 360 mg of diltiazem lowered blood pressure in a dose-related pattern similar to that seen in patients taking a daily dosage of 50 to 100 mg of atenolol. Sustained-release diltiazem was administered twice daily and atenolol once. Goal blood pressure was defined as <90 mm Hg or a reduction of ≥10 mm Hg for patients with baseline pressures of 95 to 99 mm Hg in the supine position and was achieved in 60% of diltiazem-treated and 63% of atenolol-treated patients. The mean diltiazem dosage at the end of the study was 329 mg daily; for atenolol it was 80 mg daily. Adverse reactions considered possibly or probably drug related were reported by 26% of diltiazem patients and 38% of atenolol patients. Although both drugs were associated with a slower heart rate, atenolol patients showed a significantly greater negative chronotropic effect. Diltiazem, in a sustained-release form taken twice daily, is as effective as atenolol as a sole antihypertensive agent. It has a favorable side-effect profile and may be a useful alternative antihypertensive medication compared with existing β-blocker therapy with atenolol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 14 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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