Use of antihypertensive drugs in the Italian hospitals

A. Crucitti, E. Cecchi, G. F. Gensini, I. Simone, A. Conti, S. Gialloni, C. Pedone, M. Pahor, A. Mugelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calcium channel blockers and ACE-inhibitors are among the most common drugs prescribed for the initial treatmen of hypertension. While their ability to control surrogate outcomes, such as blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy, is proven, there is limited evidence of their prevention of major cardiovascular events, including mortality. The aim of our work was to assess the use of these drugs in Italy in comparison with beta-blockers and diuretics. We examined the consumption of the four main antihypertensive classes of drugs (beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers and ACE-inhibitors). In-hospitalization data from the GIFA (Gruppo Italiano di Farmacoepidemiologia nell'Anziano) database were used. During the period from 1988 to 1995, the most frequently prescribed antihypertensive drugs were calcium channel blockers (47%) followed by diuretics (37%), ACE-inhibitors (33%) and beta-blockers (5.5%). Changes over time in the use of these drugs were analysed: ACE-inhibitors had the greatest increase in use over time. Calcium channel blockers, ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers were usually prescribed to the youngest patients (aged <65 years), while diuretics to the oldest. Calcium channel blockers were prescribed to 60% of patients with myocardial infarction and to 55% of those with congestive heart failure. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the Italian physicians very often prescribe drugs like calcium channel blockers and ACE-inhibitors. Among these pharmacological agents, enalapril (twice per day) and slow release calcium channel blockers are the most frequently prescribed drugs. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Antihypertensive drugs
  • Guidelines
  • Italian hospitals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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