Serotonergic blockade compared with beta-adrenergic blockade in systemic hypertension: a double-blind comparison of ketanserin with propranolol

Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
S OkinJ A Strom


The safety and efficacy of ketanserin, a competitive serotonin blocking agent, and propranolol were compared in 33 patients with mild to moderate hypertension (sitting diastolic blood pressure [DBP] 95-115 mm Hg) using a placebo run-in, randomized, double-blind parallel study design. All patients received placebo for 4 weeks, then were randomized to receive increasing doses of either ketanserin (20, 40 mg twice daily) or propranolol (40, 80 mg twice daily) to achieve a goal sitting DBP less than 90 mm Hg. Patients not achieving the goal blood pressure with either drug as monotherapy, received the other drug in combination. At the end of the active monotherapy phase (week 10 of the study), propranolol demonstrated a greater decrease in DBP from baseline, as compared to ketanserin (-7.9 +/- 10.9 mm Hg with propranolol, P less than 0.05; -1.0 +/- 7.2 mm Hg with ketanserin, P = NS). Four out of 16 patients achieved goal response on propranolol, compared to 3/17 for ketanserin. With combination treatment, 9/18 patients reached the goal response; the addition of propranolol to ketanserin in non-responders resulted in further reduction of sitting DBP of -10.3 +/- 6.3 compared to monotherapy (P less than 0.001), while the addition of k...Continue Reading


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