Essential hypertension is a complex clinical condition, characterized by multiple and concomitant abnormal activation of different regulatory and contra-regulatory pathophysiological mechanisms, leading to sustained increase of blood pressure (BP) levels. Asymptomatic rise of BP may, indeed, promote development and progression of hypertension-related organ damage, which in turn, increases the risk of major cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. A progressive and independent relationship has been demonstrated between high BP levels and increased cardiovascular risk, even in the high-to-normal range. Conversely, evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials have independently shown that lowering BP to the recommended targets reduces individual cardiovascular risk, thus improving event-free survival and reducing the incidence of hypertension-related cardiovascular events. Despite these benefits, overall rates of BP control remain poor, worldwide. Currently available guidelines support a substantial equivalence amongst various antihypertensive drug classes. However, several studies have also reported clinically relevant differences among antihypertensive drugs, in terms of both BP lowering efficacy and tolerability/safety profile. These differences should be taken into account not only when adopting first-line antihypertensive therapy, but also when titrating or modulating combination therapies, with the aim of achieving effective and sustained BP control. This review will briefly describe evidence supporting the use of dihydropyridinic calcium channel blockers for the clinical management of hypertension, with a particular focus on barnidipine. Indeed, this drug has been demonstrated to be effective, safe and well tolerated in lowering BP levels and in reducing hypertension-related organ damage, thus showing a potential key role for improving the clinical management of hypertension.
- Antihypertensive therapy
- Combination therapy
- Dihydropyridinic calcium channel blockers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine