Effect of enalapril and nifedipine on orthostatic hypotension in older hypertensive patients

Inna Slavachevsky, Rita Rachmani, Zohar Levi, David Brosh, Merav Lidar, Mordchai Ravid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of enalapril with long-acting nifedipine on orthostatic hypotension in older patients. DESIGN: A prospective, double blinded, cross-over study. SETTING: The outpatient clinic of a university hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-nine patients aged 65 years or older with systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140-190 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90-110 mm Hg. INTERVENTION: Enalapril 5-20 mg od or nifedipine 30-90 mg od for 8 weeks, followed by 4 weeks washout and cross- over for a second 8-week period. MEASUREMENTS: Supine and standing 0-, 1-, and 5-minutes blood pressure was recorded before and at the end of each treatment period. RESULTS: At baseline, SBP was 158.8 ± 8.7 mm Hg, and DBP was 97.1 ± 5.9 mm Hg. There was a decline in SBP of 6.1 ± 2.7 mm Hg and 8.4 ± 4.1 mm Hg after 1 and 5 minutes of standing, respectively. Both agents caused a significant decline in supine blood pressure. Enalapril: supine SBP 158.8 ± 8.7 to 143 ± 7.3 mm Hg; supine DBP 97.1 ± 5.9 to 85.1 ± 5.1 mm Hg (P = .0001). The drop in SBP after standing for 5 minutes was only 2.4 ± 1.6 mm Hg with no change in diastolic values. A ≥ 10 mm Hg drop in SBP was observed in only three patients, and no patient experienced a decline of 20 mm Hg or more. Nifedipine: supine SBP: 160.3 ± 9 to 145.3 ± 8.1 mm Hg; supine DBP: 96.3 ± 5.7 to 86.3 ± 5.8 (P = .0001). Nifedipine induced an orthostatic decline in SBP values; there was an 8.7 ± 4.8 mm Hg difference between supine and 5 minutes standing values (P = .0005) without change in diastolic values. An orthostatic decline in SBP of ≥10 mm Hg occurred in 13 patients, and there was a drop of ≥20 mm Hg in six patients. The cross-over of enalapril and nifedipine reproduced the hypotensive effect and reversed the postural effect. (P = .0002 nifedipine vs enalapril) CONCLUSIONS: Enalapril and nifedipine were equipotent in reducing supine blood pressure levels. Enalapril also reduced the number of orthostatic episodes significantly, whereas nifedipine aggravated this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-810
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Enalapril
  • Nifedipine
  • Orthostatic hypotension


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