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Carvedilol in hypertension treatment

Authors Stafylas PC, Sarafidis PA

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 23—30


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Panagiotis C Stafylas, Pantelis A Sarafidis

1st Department of Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract: Although β-blockers have been previously shown to effectively reduce blood pressure (BP) and have been used for hypertension treatment for over 40 years, their effect on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients remains controversial and its use in uncomplicated hypertension is currently under debate. However, data on the above field derive mainly from studies which were conducted with older agents, such as atenolol and metoprolol, while considerable pharamacokinetic and pharmacodynamic heterogeneity is present within the class of β-blockers. Carvedilol, a vasodilating non-cardioselective β-blocker, is a compound that seems to give the opportunity to the clinician to use a cardioprotective agent without the concerning hemodynamic and metabolic actions of traditional β-blocker therapy. In contrast with conventional β-blockers, carvedilol maintains cardiac output, has a less extended effect on heart rate and reduces BP by decreasing vascular resistance. Further, several studies has shown that carvedilol has a beneficial or at least neutral effect on metabolic parameters, such as glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism, suggesting that they could be used in subjects with the metabolic syndrome or diabetes without negative consequences. This article summarizes the distinct pharmacologic, hemodynamic, and metabolic properties of carvedilol in relation to conventional β-blockers, attempting to examine the potential use of this agent for hypertension treatment.

Keywords: carvedilol, β-blockers, hypertension treatment

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