The abrupt discontinuation of antihypertensive treatment

Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
S B GarbusF A Hubbell


Although deleterious events following abrupt withdrawal of antihypertensive treatment are relatively uncommon, considerable attention has recently been focused on this problem. A withdrawal syndrome may occur after termination of almost all types of antihypertensive drugs, but most experience has been with the centrally acting agents and with beta-adrenoreceptor blockers. Abrupt discontinuation of high doses of centrally acting drugs such as alpha-methyldopa, clonidine, and guanabenz can produce a syndrome of sympathetic overactivity that includes agitation, headache, sweating, and nausea and less commonly can provoke rapid upswings in blood pressure. If beta blockers are suddenly stopped, a similar pattern can occur that may be related to excessive activity of thyroid hormones as well as sympathetic factors. Additionally, patients with ischemic heart disease may be susceptible to an acute exacerbation of their cardiac disease when beta-blocker treatment is stopped. It seems likely that discontinuation events can be particularly severe when combinations of different types of antihypertensive medications are sud-disease when betablocker treatment is denly stopped. This problem can be dealt with by educating patients to avoid sud...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Diastolic Blood Pressure
Myocardial Ischemia
Hypertensive Disease
Antihypertensive Agents
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Heart Diseases
Drug Combinations
Drug Administration Schedule
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists

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