Antihypertensive Effect of Clonidine
Clonidine hydrochloride is a sympathetic inhibitor with central site of action. The antihypertensive effect in man in the supine position is associated with a decrease in cardiac output and no consistent changes in total peripheral resistance. In the standing position, however, in addition to the decrease in cardiac output, a fall in total peripheral resistance becomes evident. The fall in blood pressure results in no significant alteration in renal blood flow or glomerular filtration rate in the supine position. In the standing position a consistent decrease in renal vascular resistance is seen.
In the anesthetized dog the intravenous administration of clonidine produces a significant reduction of renal vein plasma renin activity. Similarly, in patients with essential hypertension oral administration of the drug results in a decrease in peripheral plasma renin activity.
In ambulatory essential hypertensive patients treated with clonidine alone in doses of 400 to 900 µg per day, a modest antihypertensive effect is achieved. When clonidine is used with a diuretic, antihypertensive efficacy is achieved in 80% of the patients treated. In higher doses (up to 3,600 µg per day) and in combination with a diuretic, the antihypertensive effect appears to be superior to that of many of the standard agents. Drowsiness and dryness of the mouth are the most frequent and serious side effects with the higher doses.
- © 1971 American Heart Association, Inc.