SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.127 issue6Diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer during pregnancyY chromosome in Turner syndrome: review of the literature author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180

Sao Paulo Med. J. vol.127 no.6 São Paulo Nov. 2009 



Oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies: systematic review and meta-analysis


Drogas orais para urgências hipertensivas: revisão sistemática e metanálise



Luciana Mendes SouzaI; Rachel RieraII; Humberto SaconatoIII; Adriana DemathéIV; Álvaro Nagib AtallahV

IMD. Postgraduate (MSc) student in the Discipline of Emergency Medicine and Evidence-Based Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), São Paulo, Brazil
IIMD, MSc. Research assistant in the Brazilian Cochrane Center and physician in the Discipline of Emergency Medicine and Evidence-Based Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), São Paulo, Brazil
IIIMD, MSc, PhD. Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
IVMD, MSc. Postgraduate (PhD) student in the Department of Pathology and Propaedeutics, Universidade Estadual de São Paulo (Unesp), Araçatuba, São Paulo, Brazil
VMD, MSc, PhD. Full professor and Head of the Discipline of Emergency Medicine and Evidence-Based Medicine of Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), and Director of the Brazil-ian Cochrane Center, São Paulo, Brazil

Address for correspondence




CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Hypertensive urgencies are defined as severe elevations in blood pressure without evidence of acute or progressive target-organ damage. The need for treatment is considered urgent but allows for slow control using oral or sublingual drugs. If the increase in blood pressure is not associated with risk to life or acute target-organ damage, blood pressure control must be implemented slowly over 24 hours. For hypertensive urgencies, it is not known which class of antihypertensive drug provides the best results and there is controversy regarding when to use antihypertensive drugs and which ones to use in these situations. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies.
METHODS: This systematic review of the literature was developed at the Brazilian Cochrane Center, and in the Discipline of Emergency Medicine and Evidence-Based Medicine at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), in accordance with the methodology of the Cochrane Collaboration.
RESULTS: Sixteen randomized clinical trials including 769 participants were selected. They showed that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors had a superior effect in treating hypertensive urgencies, evaluated among 223 participants. The commonest adverse event for calcium channel blockers were headache (35/206), flushing (17/172) and palpitations (14/189). For angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, the principal side effect was bad taste (25/38).
CONCLUSIONS: There is important evidence in favor of the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for treating hypertensive urgencies, compared with calcium channel blockers, considering the better effectiveness and the lower frequency of adverse effects (like headache and flushing).

Key words: Hypertension. Review [Publication Type]. Antihypertensive agents. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Calcium channel blockers.


CONTEXTO E OBJETIVO: Urgências hipertensivas são definidas como elevações graves na pressão arterial sem evidência de danos agudos ou progressivos a órgãos-alvo. A necessidade de tratamento é considerada urgente, mas permite um controle gradual, utilizando-se drogas orais ou sublinguais. Se o aumento na pressão arterial não está associado a risco de vida ou danos a órgãos alvo, o controle pressórico deve ser feito lentamente durante 24 horas. Em relação às urgências hipertensivas, não é conhecida qual a classe de drogas anti-hipertensivas que promove os melhores resultados e há controvérsia em relação a quando e quais as drogas devem ser utilizadas nestas situações. O objetivo desta revisão foi avaliar a efetividade e a segurança de drogas orais para urgências hipertensivas.
METODOS: Esta revisão sistemática da literatura foi desenvolvida no Centro Cochrane do Brasil, e na Disciplina de Medicina de Urgência e Medicina Baseada em Evidências da Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM), de acordo com a metodologia da Colaboração Cochrane.
RESULTADOS: Os 16 ensaios clínicos aleatórios selecionados incluíram 769 participantes e demonstraram um efeito superior dos inibidores da enzima conversora de angiotensina no tratamento da urgência hipertensiva, avaliada em 223 participantes. Os efeitos adversos mais frequentes para os bloqueadores de canal de cálcio foram cefaleia (35/206), rubor (17/172) e alterações do ritmo cardíaco (14/189); para os inibidores da enzima conversora de angiotensina, o efeito colateral mais frequente foi disgeusia (25/38).
CONCLUSÕES: Há evidências importantes a favor do uso de inibidores da enzima conversora da angiotensina para o tratamento de urgências hipertensivas, quando comparados aos bloqueadores dos canais de cálcio, devido a maior efetividade e à menor frequência de efeitos adversos, como cefaléia e rubor facial.

Palavras-chave: Hipertensão. Revisão [tipo de publicação]. Anti-hipertensivos. Inibidores da enzima conversora da angiotensina. Bloqueadores dos canais de cálcio.




Hypertensive crises have been divided into two categories: hypertensive urgencies and hypertensive emergencies.1 Hypertensive urgencies are defined as severe elevations in blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure above 120 mmHg) without evidence of acute, progressive target organ damage.2-5 The target organs are primarily the heart, brain, kidneys and large arteries. Hypertensive emergencies consist of elevated blood pressure (BP) with evidence of target organ dysfunction and have been the subject of a separate Cochrane review.6

Hypertension is common and affects about 50 million individuals in the United States and approximately one billion people worldwide.7 In Brazil, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for more than 250,000 deaths annually.7 Hypertensive urgencies are important clinical events occurring in both hospital and outpatient settings and comprise about 76% of hypertensive crises.8

In these situations, patients should be carefully evaluated with detailed history-taking and physical examination.9 The need for treatment is considered urgent but allows for slow control using oral or sublingual drugs.9 As chronic hypertension results in a shift in cerebrovascular autoregulation, in which blood pressure decreases too rapidly, to below the lower limit of autoregulation, the brain may become hypoperfused, with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and syncope.10 For this reason, if the increase in blood pressure is not associated with risk to life or acute target-organ damage, blood pressure control must be implemented slowly over 24 hours.9 Excessively rapid reductions in BP have been associated with acute deterioration in renal function and ischemic cardiac or cerebral events.11

Most patients with severe BP elevation can be managed on an outpatient basis with oral agents and appropriate follow-up within 24 hours to several days, depending on the individual characteristics of the patient.9 The initial goal for BP reduction is not to attain normal blood pressure but, rather, to achieve a progressive, controlled reduction in BP in order to minimize the risk of hypoperfusion in the cerebral, coronary and renovascular regions.10

For hypertensive urgencies, it is not known which class of antihypertensive drug provides the best results in terms of morbidity, mortality, blood pressure lowering efficacy, withdrawal due to adverse effects and other side effects. There is controversy regarding when to use blood pressure drugs and which ones to use in these situations, and the available evidence has been insufficient to answer these questions.



To assess the effectiveness and safety of oral drugs for hypertensive urgencies.



This systematic review of the literature was developed in accordance with the methodology of the Cochrane Collaboration and was conducted at the Brazilian Cochrane Centre, in the Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Escola Paulista de Medicina (Unifesp-EPM). It was approved by the local ethics committee.

The review only included randomized controlled clinical trials that evaluated the use of one or more drugs in the calcium channel blocker (CCB) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) groups. The participants in the trials had to meet all the criteria below:

- Diastolic blood pressure elevation to more than 110 mmHg and no evidence of acute target-organ damage.4 A lower pressure than in the current definition was used because we did not want to lose studies and because, prior to 1993, many cases of hypertensive urgencies were defined and treated with diastolic blood pressures > 115 mmHg or > 110 mmHg.

- Age over 18 years.

- Patients with pregnancy-related and eclampsia-related hypertension were excluded.

- Patients with intractable nosebleed, sympathomimetic drug overdose, hypertension associated with increased circulating catecholamines, end-stage organ damage (hypertensive emergencies), or other conditions requiring parenteral therapy were excluded.5

The outcomes evaluated were total mortality (from cardiovascular causes, from any cause or from side effects of the medication); any adverse effects reported in the studies included; proportion of patients with blood pressure decrease (for four-hour and 24-hour periods); proportion of patients with target blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg; decrease in blood pressure in mmHg (for systolic blood and diastolic blood pressure); number of patients requiring addition of a second or third drug; incidence of hospitalization due to any cause; total non-fatal cerebrovascular, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary events (stroke, myocardial infarction, angina, silent ischemia, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, kidney failure and acute pulmonary edema); and time taken to achieve target BP.

Search strategy for identifying studies

The search strategy included the following databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (Medline) [1996 to January 2007]; Cochrane Systematic Review Database; Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde (Lilacs) [1996 to January 2007]; Excerpta Medica Database (Embase) [1996 to January 2007]; and specific websites (,,, Pharmaceutical industry representatives, specialists in the field and the main authors of the trials included were contacted to obtain access to unpublished data. There were no language restrictions. The terms used in the databases are available in Table 1.

Data extraction and methodological quality assessment

The search strategy identified the relevant articles. Each of these articles was assessed by two independent reviewers. All the data were extracted by these two reviewers. Details relating to the population, treatment periods and demographic baseline were extracted independently. A third reviewer was consulted to help in resolving disagreements. The quality of each trial was evaluated independently by the two reviewers, using the validated quality assessment tool that was published by Jadad et al. in 1996.12

Statistical analysis and presentation of the results

The statistical analysis was carried out using the ReviewManager program (version 5.0, RevMan, 2000), and in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook.13 For dichotomous variables, the odds ratio (OR) method was used, with 95% confidence intervals (random effect model). When there was a statistical difference, the number needed to treat (NNT) or the number needed to harm (NNH) was calculated. For continuous variables, the weighted mean difference was calculated (random effect model) with the corresponding 95% confidence interval. If necessary, the original data were transformed into a logarithmic basis to obtain better distribution, or into scales that presented similar properties (the data on this scale would be the input for meta-analysis). Furthermore, if necessary, the continuous variables were subdivided for dichotomous analysis. To analyze the sensitivity, the following strategy using the Review Manager 5.0 software14 was proposed:

a) Reanalysis of the data using reasonable variation of values for lost data: when dichotomous variables were extracted, it was assumed that participants lost from the experimental group presented unsuccessful treatment and that losses from the control group presented improvement;

b) Reanalysis of the data using reasonable variation of the results from the studies, when there was some uncertainty in the results;

c) Reanalysis of the data using different statistical methods;

d) Statistical heterogeneity: it was planned that this would be evaluated in the studies by inspection of the graphical presentation (a dispersion graph in which the study weight or sample size was put on the y-axis, versus the risk ratio on the x-axis), and by the heterogeneity test (chi-squared test with n degrees of freedom, in which n was the number of studies that contributed data, minus one).13



Sixteen randomized controlled trials15-30 (769 patients) met the inclusion criteria for this review. We excluded 58 clinical trials for several reasons:

• One randomized controlled trial included the same patients as in a previous study.31

• Twelve trials mixed patients with and without acute target-organ damage in the same randomized controlled trial.32-43

• Eighteen trials included non-randomized participants in the trial results.44-61

• Five trials had inadequate randomization.62-66

• One trial did not report any of the outcomes of interest.67

• Five trials did not fulfill the blood pressure threshold criteria.68-71

• Two trials did not fulfill the patient threshold criteria.72,73

• One had a double-dummy design.74

• Thirteen trials compared interventions that were not within the scope of this review.75-86

For the purposes of statistical analysis, the comparisons were made according to the outcomes, by comparing the following groups: 1) CCB versus ACEi; 2) placebo versus CCB; 3) placebo versus ACEi; 4) CCB versus other interventions; and 4) ACEi versus other interventions.


Total mortality: No trial reported total mortality.

Adverse effects: There were significant differences favoring participants receiving ACEi drugs, compared with CCB drugs, concerning adverse effects such as flushing15,16,19,22,29 (risk ratio 0.22; 95% confidence interval 0.07 to 0.72) and headache16,19,22,28,29 (risk ratio 0.34; 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.92) (Figures 1 and 2).

Proportion of patients with blood pressure decrease: Only one study described this outcome as part of the results,30 and it showed that the proportion of blood pressure decrease over four hours was 92% for both groups (captopril and nifedipine).

Proportion of patients with target blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg: No trial reported this outcome.

Number of patients requiring addition of a second or third drug: Four trials15,24,25,29 reported this outcome. Two patients in the CCB group and four patients in the control group (other drugs) required administration of an additional drug.24 There were no significant differences favoring participants receiving ACEi drugs compared with CCB drugs, in relation to this outcome (Figure 3).15,25,29

Incidence of hospitalization due to any cause: One trial29 reported that one patient needed hospitalization, and two cases of hospitalization: one case due to treatment failure with CCB use and the other case due to treatment failure with ACEi drugs.

Total non-fatal cerebrovascular, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary events: One trial19 reported one patient with angina after taking CCB to treat hypertensive urgency.

Time taken to achieve target blood pressure: This was reported in 10 trials.15-17,22-24,26,28-30 The results relating to this outcome were very variable, and meta-analysis could not be performed because of the absence of data to calculate the standard deviation and lack of definition of the desired target blood pressure. For the CCB group, the time needed for blood pressure reduction ranged from 30 minutes30 to 100 minutes.15 For the ACEi group, this time ranged from 30 minutes30 to 120 minutes.15,16

According to the Jadad Scale, the quality assessment was as follows: three trials received one point (described as randomized, inadequate randomization, no double-blinding, no withdrawals description),17,27,28 four trials received two points (described as randomized, adequate randomization, no double-blinding and no withdrawals description),16,25,29,30 six trials received three points (described as randomized, adequate randomization, described as double-blinded, inadequate double-blinding and no withdrawals description)18-20,22,23,29 and three trials received four points (described as adequate randomization, adequate double-blinding, no withdrawals description).15,21,26



This was the first systematic review investigating mortality and morbidity outcomes among all randomized controlled trials (RCT) on drug treatments for hypertensive urgencies. The Cochrane Collaboration methodology was followed closely by conducting extensive literature search, followed by critical evaluation of RCT found.

A previous systematic review that combined hypertensive emergencies and urgencies did not include 11 trials that were included in our systematic review and, furthermore, it mixed randomized with non-randomized trials.3 The hypertensive urgencies included in that review had been treated with a variety of agents, and the main drugs used were captopril (a type of ACEi) and nifedipine (a type of CCB). Perez's review investigated mortality and morbidity outcomes among all randomized controlled trials on drug treatment for hypertensive emergencies.6

The studies included in the present review had many limitations. First, there were large variations and inconsistencies in the definitions and cutoffs for urgencies and emergencies and for target blood pressures. In 13 of the 58 trials excluded, patients with hypertensive urgencies and emergencies were mixed or were not clearly discriminated in the same trial.75-86 If it had been possible to obtain the data on the individual patients, the ones with hypertensive urgencies could have been added to our review. Second, there was a lack of definition regarding urgencies and short-term trials. Third, important clinical outcomes were often not measured. Finally, the small numbers of patients (an average of 48 patients per trial) in the studies included limited their power to detect differences in mortality and morbidity.



Implications for practice

Evidence currently exists to suggest that the use of oral ACEi drugs for hypertensive urgencies produces better outcomes with regard to effectiveness and lower frequency of adverse effects, compared with CCB drugs. Thus, when possible, oral ACEi drugs should be used, except during pregnancy.

Implications for research  

Randomized controlled trials are needed to assess different blood pressure lowering strategies and different drug classes in patients with hypertensive urgencies. The outcomes measured in such trials should be the following: total mortality; any adverse effects reported; blood pressure reduction (proportion of patients with blood pressure decrease for four-hour and 24-hour periods, and proportion of patients with target blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg); systolic and diastolic blood pressure decrease (in mmHg); time taken to achieve target blood pressure; number of patients requiring additional drugs; incidence of hospitalization due to any cause; and total non-fatal cerebrovascular, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary events, including at least 24 hours of monitoring follow-up for all patients.

We believe that further collaborative, multicenter, randomized double-blind controlled trials need to be performed in order to answer these questions more appropriately.



1. Blumenfeld JD, Laragh JH. Management of hypertensive crises: the scientific basis for treatment decisions. Am J Hypertens. 2001;14(11 Pt 1):1154-67.         [ Links ]

2. Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report. JAMA. 2003;289(19):2560-72.         [ Links ]

3. Cherney D, Straus S. Management of patients with hypertensive urgencies and emergencies: a systematic review of the literature. J Gen Intern Med. 2002;17(12):937-45.         [ Links ]

4. Varon J, Marik PE. The diagnosis and management of hypertensive crises. Chest. 2000;118(1):214-27.         [ Links ]

5. Abdelwahab W, Frishman W, Landau A. Management of hypertensive urgencies and emergencies. J Clin Pharmacol. 1995;35(8):747-62.         [ Links ]

6. Perez MI, Musini VM. Pharmacological interventions for hypertensive emergencies. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(1):CD003653.         [ Links ]

7. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Saúde Brasil 2006: uma análise da desigualdade em saúde [Brazilian health 2006: an analysis of health inequalities]. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006.         [ Links ]

8. Zampaglione B, Pascale C, Marchisio M, Cavallo-Perin P. Hypertensive urgencies and emergencies. Prevalence and clinical presentation. Hypertension. 1996;27(1):144-7.         [ Links ]

9. Vidt DG. Emergency room management of hypertensive urgencies and emergencies. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2001;3(3):158-64.         [ Links ]

10. Shayne PH, Pitts SR. Severely increased blood pressure in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;41(4):513-29.         [ Links ]

11. Rynn KO, Hughes FL, Faley B. An emergency department approach to drug treatment of hypertensive urgency and emergency. Journal of Pharmacy Practice. 2005;18(5):363-76. Available from: ±treatment±of±hypertensive±urgency±and±emergency&src=hw&andorexactfulltext=and. Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

12. Jadad AR, Moore RA, Carroll D, et al. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: is blinding necessary? Control Clin Trials. 1996;17(1):1-12.         [ Links ]

13. Higgins JPT, Green S, editors. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions 4.2.6 [updated September 2006]. In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2006. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Available from: Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

14. Revman 5.0 Review Manager (RevMan) [Computer software]. Version 4.3.2 for Windows. Copenhagen: Nordic Cochrane Centre, Cochrane Collaboration, 2008.         [ Links ]

15. Agurto Lescano H, Sarmiento Rojas K, Romero Castro M, Moncada Cárcamo C. Comparación entre captopril y nifedipina en el tratamiento de urgencias hipertensivas [Comparison between captopril and nifedipina in the treatment of hypertensive urgencies]. Bol Soc Peru Med Interna. 1997;10(2):60-5.         [ Links ]

16. Damasceno A, Ferreira B, Patel S, Sevene E, Polónia J. Efficacy of captopril and nifedipine in black and white patients with hypertensive crisis. J Hum Hypertens. 1997;11(8):471-6.         [ Links ]

17. Dondici Filho J, Gomes JC, Castro EG, Luz NS, Abzaid A. Redução aguda da pressão arterial: estudo comparativo entre nifedipina e clonidina [Acute reduction of blood pressure: comparative study between nifedipine and clonidine]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1991;56(2):127-30.         [ Links ]

18. Flores Gonzalez J, Martinez Fernandez L, Martinez Garcia R, Fiterre Lancis I, Perez Caballero M. Clonidina y Nifedipina Oral en el Tratamiento de la Urgencia Hipertensiva [Oral clonidine and nifedipine in the treatment of hypertensive emergencies]. Rev Cuba Med. 1996;35(3):156-63.         [ Links ]

19. Gemici K, Karakoc Y, Ersoy A, Baran I, Güllülü S, Cordan J. A Comparison of Safety and Efficacy of Sublingual Captopril with Sublingual Nifedipine in Hypertensive Crisis. Int J Angiol. 1999;8(3):147-9.         [ Links ]

20. Gemici K, Baran I, Bakar M, Demircan C, Ozdemir B, Cordan J. Evaluation of the effect of the sublingually administered nifedipine and captopril via transcranial doppler ultrasonography during hypertensive crisis. Blood Press. 2003;12(1):46-8.         [ Links ]

21. Habib GB, Dunbar LM, Rodrigues R, Neale AC, Friday KJ. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of oral nicardipine in treatment of urgent hypertension: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Am Heart J. 1995;129(5):917-23.         [ Links ]

22. Komsuolu B, Sengün B, Bayram A, Komsuolu SS. Treatment of hypertensive urgencies with oral nifedipine, nicardipine, and captopril. Angiology. 1991;42(6):447-54.         [ Links ]

23. Mansur Ade P, Ramires JA, Avakian SD, de Paula RS, Pileggi F. Efeito comparativo do diazepam, nifedipina, propranolol e da associação nifedipina e propranolol, por via sublingual, em pacientes com crise hipertensiva [Comparison of the effects of diazepam, nifedipine, propranolol and a combination of nifedipine and propranolol, by sublingual administration, in patients with hypertensive crisis]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1991;57(4):313-7.         [ Links ]

24. McDonald AJ, Yealy DM, Jacobson S. Oral labetalol versus oral nifedipine in hypertensive urgencies in the ED. Am J Emerg Med. 1993;11(5):460-3.         [ Links ]

25. Moritz RD, Queiroz LP, Pereira MR, Scotinni MA. Estudo comparativo do uso da nifedipina e do captopril em urgências hipertensivas [Comparative study of the use of nifedipine and captopril in hypertensive emergencies]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1989;52(6):323-6.         [ Links ]

26. Olmedo Canchola VH, Rosas Heredia ML, Campos de la Vega G. Comparación de la eficacia entre captopril sublingual contra placebo en urgencias hipertensivas [Comparison of the efficiency between sublingual captopril vs placebo in hypertensive urgencies]. Med Interna Méx. 2000;16(6):303-7.         [ Links ]

27. Opie LH, Jennings A. Sublingual captopril versus nifedipine in hypertensive crises. Lancet. 1985;2(8454):555.         [ Links ]

28. Pascale C, Zampaglione B, Marchisio M. Management of hypertensive crisis: nifedipine in comparison with captopril, clonidine, and furosemide. Current Therapeutic Research. 1992;51(1):9-18. Available from: Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

29. Pérez CC, Dougnac LA, Alvarez ZM, et al. Captopril sublingual versus nifedipina para el tratamiento de la crisis hipertensiva [Sublingual captopril versus nifedipine in the treatment of hypertensive crisis]. Rev Méd Chile. 1991;119(4):402-5.         [ Links ]

30. Pujadas R, Jané J, Fornós C, Gago MJ, de la Concepción N. Comparison of sublingual captopril and nifedipine in hypertensive crises. Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(1):175-6.         [ Links ]

31. Pujadas R, Jané J, Gago MJ, Fornos C, Escrivá E, Roca N. Captopril versus Nifedipina sublingual en el tratamiento de las crisis hipertensivas. Anales de Medicina Interna. 1987;4(10):524-5.         [ Links ]

32. Biollaz J, Waeber B, Brunner HR. Hypertensive crisis treated with orally administered captopril. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1983;25(2):145-9.         [ Links ]

33. Cristodorescu R, Bartha P, Dragan S, Nicolin M. Tratamentul crizei hipertensive cu nifedipina în teren [The treatment of hypertensive crisis with nifedipine as the basis]. Rev Med Interna Neurol Psichiatr Neurochir Dermatovenerol Med Interna. 1989;41(6):529-38.         [ Links ]

34. Dadkar VN, Karnik ND, Izar M, et al. Sublingual nifedipine and captopril in hypertensive urgencies and emergencies. Indian Heart J. 1993;45(3):185-7.         [ Links ]

35. Facci Júnior C, Gonçalves LC, Dias SE, Gantois CR, Facci AM, Barbosa ET.. Captopril na crise hipertensiva [Captopril in hypertensive crises]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1984;42(1):73-6.         [ Links ]

36. Hirschl MM, Seidler D, Müllner M, et al. Efficacy of different antihypertensive drugs in the emergency department. J Hum Hypertens. 1996;10(Suppl 3):S143-6.         [ Links ]

37. Karachalios GN, Chrisikos N, Kintziou H, Petrogiannopoulos K, Kehagioglou K. Treatment of hypertensive crisis with sublingual captopril. Current Therapeutic Research. 1990;48(1):5-9. Available from: Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

38. Koehler NR, Rabin M, Chatkin JM, et al. Nifedipina comprimido via sub-lingual na crise hipertensiva [Sublingual tablet of nifedipine in hypertensive crisis]. Rev AMRIGS. 1985;29(2):113-5.         [ Links ]

39. Peret Martínez JJ, Roca-Cusachs i Coll A, Monmany i Roca J, Nolla i Panadès J. [Use of sublingual nifedipine in the hypertensive crisis]. Med Clin (Barc). 1983;81(13):558-60.         [ Links ]

40. Santos RJ, Cavalcanti R, Oliveira CC, et al. Ensaio terapêutico nifedipina sub lingual na crise hipertensiva [Therapeutic assay sublingual nifedipine in hypertensive crisis]. ECMAL. 1986;4(1):20-2.         [ Links ]

41. Sobrino J, Coca A, de la Sierra A, Closas J, Aguilera MT, Urbano-Márquez A. Prevalencia, formas clínicas de presentación y tratamiento de la hipertensión arterial en una unidad de urgencias [Prevalence, forms of clinical presentation and treatment of arterial hypertension at an emergency unit]. Rev Clin Esp. 1990;187(2):56-60.         [ Links ]

42. Späh F, Grosser KD. Treatment of hypertensive urgencies and emergencies with nitrendipine, nifedipine, and clonidine: effect on blood pressure and heart rate. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1988;12(Suppl 4):S154-6.         [ Links ]

43. Tereshchenko SN, Dzhaiani NA, Morozova MN. [Comparative efficacy of carvedilol and capoten in the treatment of an uncomplicated hypertensive crisis]. Ter Arkh. 2006;78(8):26-30.         [ Links ]

44. Alletto M, Burgio A, Fulco G, Paradiso R, Piangiamore M, Vancheri F. Captopril sublinguale nelle crisi ipertensive [Sublingual captopril in hypertensive crises]. Recenti Prog Med. 1992;83(9):503-5.         [ Links ]

45. Castro del Castillo A, Rodriguez M, Gonzalez E, Rodriguez F, Estruch J. Dose-response effect of sublingual captopril in hypertensive crises. J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;28(7):667-70.         [ Links ]

46. Domínguez B, Díaz R. Tratamiento de las urgencias y de las crises hipertensivas con nifedipina sublingual [Treatment of hypertensive emergencies and crisis with sublingual nifedipine]. Rev Med Panama. 1988;13(2):100-6.         [ Links ]

47. Gómez Santos FA, Hidalgo Nuñez LW, Mendoza de Jesús A, Sanz MA, Noyer J. Nifedipina sublingual en el manejo de la crisis hipertensiva [Sublingual nifedipine in hypertensive emergency]. Rev Méd Domin. 1992;53(1):25-7.         [ Links ]

48. Gökel Y, Paydas S, Kuvandik G, Alparslan N. Sublingual valsartan in hypertensive urgency. Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences. 2001;31(6):565-7. Available from: Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

49. Guazzi M, Olivari MT, Polese A, Fiorentini C, Magrini F, Moruzzi P. Nifedipine, a new antihypertensive with rapid action. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1977;22(5 Pt 1):528-32.         [ Links ]

50. Heller MB, Duda J, Maha RJ, et al. Prehospital use of nifedipine for severe hypertension. Am J Emerg Med. 1990;8(4):282-4.         [ Links ]

51. Hirschl MM, Seidler D, Zeiner A, et al. Intravenous urapidil versus sublingual nifedipine in the treatment of hypertensive urgencies. Am J Emerg Med. 1993;11(6):653-6.         [ Links ]

52. Karnik ND, Bhatt AD, Trivedi TH, et al. Nifedipine, captopril, metoprolol and nifedipine with metoprolol in hypertensive crisis in non-intensive care setting. J Assoc Physicians India. 1996;44(7):480-2.         [ Links ]

53. Maciel R, Spritzer N, Spritzer TS, Abichequer MH. Captopril na crise hipertensiva [Captopril in the hypertensive crisis]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1983;40(6):429-31.         [ Links ]

54. Martínez-Amenós A, Carratalà J, Pintó X, Santaló M, Tamayo C, Pujol M. [Hypertensive crisis: comparative study of oral captopril, sublingual captopril and sublingual nifedipine]. Med Clin (Barc). 1987;89(2):59-61.         [ Links ]

55. Pose Reino A, González-Juanatey JR, Fernández Velo JL, Amaro Cendón A, Bugallo Paz L, Gil de la Peña M. Enalapril sublingual en crisis hipertensiva. Estudio preliminar [Sublingual enalapril in hypertensive crisis. A preliminary study]. An Med Interna. 1989;6(8):421-3.         [ Links ]

56. Preston RA, Baltodano NM, Cienki J, Materson BJ. Clinical presentation and management of patients with uncontrolled, severe hypertension: results from a public teaching hospital. J Hum Hypertens. 1999;13(4):249-55.         [ Links ]

57. Rubio Guerra AF, Vargas Ayala G, Rodrígues López L, Lozano Nuevo JJ, Trejo Orozco N. Comparación entre nifedipina sublingual y dosis sucesivas de dinitrato de isosorbide en aerosol para las crises hipertensivas [Sub-lingual nifedipine vs. isosorbide spray in hypertensive crisis]. Rev Fac Med UNAM. 1999;42(4):148-50.         [ Links ]

58. Saragoça MA, Ribeiro AB, Ramos OL. Crise hipertensiva. Tratamento com captopril após insucesso com diurético. Estudo multicêntrico [Hypertensive crisis. Treatment with captopril after failure with diuretic. Multicentric study]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 1982;38(5):415-9.         [ Links ]

59. Sulbarán T, Aparicio J, Bermúdez G. Uso del captopril sublingual en crisis hipertensivas [The use of sublingual captopril in hypertensive crises]. Invest Clin. 1994;35(3):143-54.         [ Links ]

60. Toledo Hviid GE, Justiniano Encina J. Captopril sublingual en las crisis Hipertensivas [Sublingual captopril in hypertensive crisis]. Rev Méd Cruceña. 1995;(15):40-3.         [ Links ]

61. Wyss F, Ovando A, Loria R. Captopril sublingual en urgencia hipertensiva [Sublingual captopril in hypertensive emergencies]. Rev Med Interna. 1999;10(2):16-8.         [ Links ]

62. Franklin C, Nightingale S, Mamdani B. A randomized comparison of nifedipine and sodium nitroprusside in severe hypertension. Chest. 1986;90(4):500-3.         [ Links ]

63. Isles CG, Johnson AO, Milne FJ. Slow release nifedipine and atenolol as initial treatment in blacks with malignant hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1986;21(4):377-83.         [ Links ]

64. Just VL, Schrader BJ, Paloucek FP, Hoon TJ, Leikin JB, Bauman JL. Evaluation of drug therapy for treatment of hypertensive urgencies in the emergency department. Am J Emerg Med. 1991;9(2):107-11.         [ Links ]

65. Lima SG, Nascimento LS, Santos Filho CN, Albuquerque MFPM, Victor EG. Hipertensão arterial sistêmica no setor de emergência: o uso de medicamentos sintomáticos como alternativa de tratamento [Systemic hypertension at emergency units: the use of symptomatic drugs as choice for management]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2005;85(2):115-23.         [ Links ]

66. Misra A, Jain P, Reddy RB. Sublingual captopril in hypertensive urgencies. Postgrad Med J. 1993;69(812):498-9.         [ Links ]

67. Sol JB, Gonzáles RR, Planas JT, Riera AC. El tratamiento hipotensor sublingual. ¿Compara grupos homogêneos de hipertensos? Revista Clinica Española. 1987;181(7):403-4.         [ Links ]

68. Bussmann WD, Kenedi P, von Mengden HJ, Nast HP, Rachor N. Comparison of nitroglycerin with nifedipine in patients with hypertensive crisis or severe hypertension. Clin Investig. 1992;70(12):1085-8.         [ Links ]

69. Diker E, Ertürk S, Akgün G. Is sublingual nifedipine administration superior to oral administration in the active treatment of hypertension? Angiology. 1992;43(6):477-81.         [ Links ]

70. Gökel Y, Satar S, Paydas S. A comparison of the effectiveness of sublingual losartan, sublingual captopril and sublingual nifedipine in hypertensive urgency. Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences. 1999;29(6):655-60. Available from: Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

71. Bussmann WD, Kenedi P, von Mengden HJ, Nast HP, Rachor M. Nitroglycerin im Vergleich zu Nifedipin bei Patienten mit hypertensiver Krise [Nitroglycerin in comparison with nifedipine in patients with hypertensive crisis]. Z Kardiol. 1993;82(1):33-7.         [ Links ]

72. Vázquez Vigoa A, Gundián González-Piñera J, Cordiés Jackson L, Pérez Caballero MD. Captopril versus nifedipina sublingual en el tratamiento de la urgencia hipertensiva [Captopril versus nifedipine given sublingually in treating hypertensive emergency]. Rev Cuba Med. 1993;32(1):19-27.         [ Links ]

73. Sechi LA, Tedde R, Cassisa L, et al. Sublingual and intravenous ketanserin versus sublingual nifedipine in the treatment of severe hypertension: a randomized study. Clin Ther. 1989;11(6):834-40.         [ Links ]

74. Woisetschläger C, Bur A, Vlcek M, Derhaschnig U, Laggner AN, Hirschl MM. Comparison of intravenous urapidil and oral captopril in patients with hypertensive urgencies. J Hum Hypertens. 2006;20(9):707-9.         [ Links ]

75. Al-Waili NS, Hasan NA. Efficacy of sublingual verapamil in patients with severe essential hypertension: comparison with sublingual nifedipine. Eur J Med Res. 1999;4(5):193-8.         [ Links ]

76. Damasceno A, Sevene E, Patel S, Polónia J. Nifedipine-retard versus nifedipine-capsules for the therapy of hypertensive crisis in black patients. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1998;31(1):165-9.         [ Links ]

77. Dessì-Fulgheri P, Bandiera F, Rubattu S, et al. Comparison of sublingual and oral captopril in hypertension. Clin Exp Hypertens A. 1987;9(2-3):593-7.         [ Links ]

78. Guazzi MD, De Cesare N, Galli C, Salvioni A, Tamborini G, Tosi E. La nifédipine en tant qu'antihypertenseur vasodilatateur d'effet rapide [Nifedipine as a vasodilator antihypertensive with a rapid action]. Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 1985;78 Spec No:59-65.         [ Links ]

79. Maharaj B, van der Byl K. A comparison of the acute hypotensive effects of two different doses of nifedipine. Am Heart J. 1992;124(3):720-5.         [ Links ]

80. Phillips RA. Hypertensive urgencies. Emergency Medicine 1990;15:91-100.         [ Links ]

81. Sánchez M, Sobrino J, Ribera L, Adrián MJ, Torres M, Coca A. Long-acting lacidipine versus short-acting nifedipine in the treatment of asymptomatic acute blood pressure increase. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1999;33(3):479-84.         [ Links ]

83. Saragoça MA, Portela JE, Plavnik F, Ventura RP, Lotaif L, Ramos OL. Isradipine in the treatment of hypertensive crisis in ambulatory patients. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1992;19 Suppl 3:S76-8.         [ Links ]

84. Savi L, Montebelli MR, D'Alonzo S, Mettimano M, Folli G. Sublingual nicardipine versus nifedipine to treat hypertensive urgencies. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1992;30(2):41-5.         [ Links ]

85. Schneider E, Jennings AA, Opie LH. Captopril, nifedipine and their combination for therapy of hypertensive urgencies. Survey of Anestesiology. 1992;36(4):247. Available from:,_Nifedipine_and_Their_Combination_for.42.aspx. Accessed in 2009 (Nov 26).         [ Links ]

86. Veloz M. Captopril oral versus sublingual en crisis hipertensivas [Oral Captopril versus sublingual in hypertensive crises]. Quito; s.n; s.f. 16 p. graf, tab.         [ Links ]

87. Zampaglione B, Pascale C, Marchisio M, Santoro A. The use of lacidipine in the management of hypertensive crises: a comparative study with nifedipine. J Cardiovascular Pharmacol. 1994;23 Suppl 5:S116-8.         [ Links ]


Address for correspondence:
Rachel Riera
Centro Cochrane do Brasil
Rua Pedro de Toledo, 598 - Vila Clementino
São Paulo (SP) - Brasil - CEP 04039-001
Tel./Fax. (±55 11) 5575-2970/5579-0469

Date of first submission: October 5, 2009
Last received: December 8, 2009
Accepted: December 10, 2009
Sources of funding: Not declared
Conflict of interest: None



Brazilian Cochrane Center, São Paulo, Brazil

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License