Usefulness of the alpha1-blocker doxazosin as a third-line antihypertensive drug

Hypertens Res. 2007 Apr;30(4):301-6. doi: 10.1291/hypres.30.301.


It has been reported that a substantial majority of hypertensives receive insufficient blood pressure (BP) control. As combination therapy for the treatment of hypertension, Ca channel blockers (CCBs), angiotensin II (AII) receptor blockers (ARBs), and/or AII-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are mainly prescribed, while the efficacy of alpha(1)-blockers in such combination therapy remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a low dose of an alpha(1)-blocker added to combination therapy with CCBs and either ARBs or ACE inhibitors for the treatment of hypertension. Subjects were 41 hypertensive patients (23 women and 18 men, mean age 66+/-12 years) who had been followed at the National Kyushu Medical Center. All patients showed poor BP control despite haven taken a combination of CCBs and ARBs or ACE inhibitors for more than 3 months. Doxazosin at a dose of 1 to 2 mg was added to each treatment regimen. The changes in various clinical parameters, including BP and blood chemistry, following the addition of doxazosin were then evaluated. The mean follow-up period was 170 days. BP decreased from 152+/-14/81+/-12 mmHg to 135+/-14/70+/-11 mmHg after the addition of doxazosin at a mean dose of 1.5 mg/day (p<0.001). When good systolic blood pressure (SBP) control was defined as <140 mmHg, the prevalence of patients with good SBP control increased from 24% to 61% (p<0.01). Similarly, the prevalence of patients with good diastolic blood pressure (DBP) control (<90 mmHg) increased from 78% to 98% (p<0.01). Patients whose SBP decreased more than 10 mmHg (n=25) showed significantly higher baseline SBP, serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels compared to those who showed less SBP reduction (<10 mmHg) (n=16, p<0.01). Comparable BP reductions were obtained between obese (body mass index [BMI] > or =25, DeltaBP at 3 months: -15+/-15/-12+/-9 mmHg, n=18) and non-obese (BMI<25, DeltaBP: -14+/-19/-7+/-8 mmHg, n=23) patients. The results suggest that addition of a low dose of the alpha(1)-blocker doxazosin effectively reduces BP in patients taking CCBs and ARBs or ACE inhibitors. Thus, doxazosin seems to be useful as a third-line antihypertensive drug.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Doxazosin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Doxazosin