Use of nifedipine in the treatment of hypertension

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2005 Jan;3(1):43-50. doi: 10.1586/14779072.3.1.43.


Hypertension is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease; its prevention and treatment currently represent major health concerns around the world, especially in western countries. Effective, well-tolerated drugs such as dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, to be used either alone or in combination treatments, play a key role in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The extended-release formulation of nifedipine given once daily provides a relatively constant concentration profile and has proved to be effective in reducing blood pressure values. In the International Nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system Study: Intervention as a Goal in Hypertension Treatment (INSIGHT) study, it was demonstrated that nifedipine confers cardiovascular protection as effectively as diuretics in high-risk patients, with a smaller incidence of adverse metabolic consequences. Furthermore, two INSIGHT substudies demonstrated that nifedipine prevents the progression of carotid atherosclerosis and reduces the worsening of coronary calcifications, supporting the use of calcium channel blockers in hypertensive patients--especially those at high cardiovascular risk. This review discusses the existing clinical evidence supporting the use of nifedipine in the treatment of hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Nifedipine