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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sustained release nifedipine formulations. An appraisal of their current uses and prospective roles in the treatment of hypertension, ischaemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disorders.

Nifedipine antagonises influx of calcium through cell membrane slow channels, and sustained release formulations of the calcium channel blocker have been shown to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate hypertension and both stable and variant angina pectoris. Preliminary findings also indicate that these formulations are effective in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon and hypertension in pregnancy, and that they reduce the frequency of ischaemic episodes in some patients with silent myocardial ischaemia. The exact mechanism of action of nifedipine in all of these disorders has not been defined. However, its potent peripheral and coronary arterial dilator properties, together with improvements in oxygen supply/demand, are of particular importance. A major goal of sustained release therapy is to permit reductions in the frequency of nifedipine administration, preferably to once daily, and thus improve patient compliance. Two new once-daily formulations--the nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) and a fixed combination capsule comprising sustained release nifedipine 20 mg and atenolol 50 mg--have exhibited marked antihypertensive efficacy. The GITS preparation has also been used effectively in the treatment of stable angina pectoris, and both formulations appear to be well tolerated. Sustained release nifedipine formulations are generally better tolerated than their conventionally formulated counterparts, particularly with regard to reflex tachycardia. Adverse effects seem to be dose related, are mainly associated with the drug's potent vasodilatory action, and include headache, flushing and dizziness. Generally, these effects are mild to moderate in severity and transient, usually diminishing with continued treatment. Thus, sustained release nifedipine formulations are useful and established cardiovascular therapeutic agents which have demonstrable efficacy in various forms of angina, mild to moderate hypertension and Raynaud's phenomenon. Further, promising results shown by the nifedipine GITS formulation, with its advantage of once daily administration suggest that it is likely to become one of the preferred nifedipine formulations for the treatment of hypertension and the various forms of angina.[1]


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