Drug treatment of hypertensive crisis in children

Paediatr Drugs. 2011 Oct 1;13(5):281-90. doi: 10.2165/11592130-000000000-00000.


Hypertensive crisis is a relatively rare event and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in adults and pediatric patients alike. Rapid, safe, and effective treatment is imperative to alleviate immediate presenting clinical symptoms, prevent devastating morbidity, preserve long-term quality of life, and prevent mortality. Many medications in the hypertensive crisis arsenal have been used for nearly half a century. Nearly all treatment options have been utilized in children for decades, yet reliable data and sound clinical literature remain elusive. Every agent considered to be a first-line, second-line, or adjunctive option has yet to be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial in pediatric patients. With a paucity of clinical data to form evidence-based decisions, the clinician must rely entirely on the extrapolation from adult data and small retrospective studies, case series, and case reports of medication use in pediatric patients. Although more research in the treatment of pediatric hypertensive crisis is desperately needed, current practice demands a sharp knowledge of the pediatric clinical literature and pharmacology in this area as an essential tool to consistently improve patient outcomes with respect to morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Injections


  • Antihypertensive Agents