Objective: To evaluate the antihypertensive efficacy of sinorphan, an orally active inhibitor of neutral endopeptidase EC 18.104.22.168.
Design: The ability of sinorphan (100 mg twice a day) to lower blood pressure was compared with that of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor captopril (25 mg twice a day) using a randomized-sequence, double-blind crossover design in 16 patients with essential hypertension. Each treatment was administered for 4 weeks and treatments were separated by a 3-week placebo period. At the end of the last phase of treatment sinorphan was combined with captopril for a further 4-week period. The changes in systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were monitored using repeated ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
Results: When given as monotherapy for 4 weeks, neither sinorphan nor captopril significantly reduced the 24-h or the 14-h daytime mean SBP or DBP. However, a significant decrease in DBP was observed during the first 6 h after the morning administration of captopril. With sinorphan only a significant decrease in night-time SBP was found. With the combined therapy of sinorphan and captopril, significant decreases both in SBP and in DBP were observed, which were sustained over 24 h. After 4 weeks of sinorphan alone or in combination with captopril, no change in plasma atrial natriuretic peptide level was found. However, urinary cyclic GMP excretion increased transiently after administration of the neutral endopeptidase inhibitor.
Conclusions: Neutral endopeptidase inhibition with sinorphan has a limited effect on blood pressure in hypertensive patients when given alone. However, simultaneous neutral endopeptidase and ACE inhibition induces a synergistic effect, and might therefore represent an interesting new therapeutic approach to the treatment of essential hypertension.