Faouzi Addad
Hayet Ferjani
Abdelghani Chaabani
Mounir Jelliti
Habib Gamra
Hatem Makni
Ben Hamda Khaldoun
Zohra Dridi
Mohamed Ben Farhat


Background : Hypertensive crisis is defined as a severe elevation in blood pressure (BP) without target organ injury. There are few data about the efficacy and safety of comparative oral antihypertensive drugs.
Aim : To compare the efficacy and safety of oral captopril (25 mg) and nicardipine (20 mg) in hypertensive crisis.
Methods : This prospective, randomized study included 50 patients attended at the emergency department with a hypertensive crisis (arterial blood pressure of at least 180/110 mmHg without target organ damage confirmed after 15 min of rest. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) were assessed at several intervals during 4 h after the drug administration. Therapeutic success was defined by a SBP²160 and DBP²90 mmHg two hours after drug administration. The initial clinical characteristics as age, sex, initial systolic and diastolic BP and HR were no different in the two groups.
Results : BP levels started to significantly decrease within 15 minutes. At 2 hours, SBP and DBP dropped were similar in captopril group and nicardipine group, respectively to 162/94 vs 161/89 mmHg; p=ns. The therapeutic success at the second hour has been obtained in 68% of cases in the two groups. Age >70 years was a predictor’s factor of therapeutic failure in the captopril group. Heart rate significantly dropped after 30 min in the captopril group (82.3 ± 11.8 vs 77.6 ± 12.7 c/min; p=0.037). This effect was maintained over four hours. There were no side effects in this study.
Conclusions : Oral captopril or nicardipine are efficacy and safe in the treatment of hypertensive crisis.


Captopril, nicardipine, hypertensive crisis, emergency, randomized trial



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