• Isosorbide dinitrate was administered sublingually and compared with placebo in a double-blind, randomized fashion to determine its effectiveness and safety in the rapid control of severe arterial hypertension. In 11 patients who received 10 mg of isosorbide dinitrate, blood pressure (BP) dropped from 205±8/131± 3 to 166±9/106±5 mm Hg at 120 minutes. In eight patients who received placebo, BP dropped from 203±8/130±3 to 193±11/122±5 mm Hg at 120 minutes. When 10 mg of isosorbide dinitrate was administered sublingually after 120 minutes to placebo-pretreated patients, their BP dropped to 161±7/105±6 mm Hg at 240 minutes. Our study group (19 patients) was compared with a "control" group (six patients) whose BP (203±12/132±8 mm Hg) was treated only with conventional antihypertensive medications and bed rest; five (83%) of the six controls achieved steady BP control at 24 hours vs nine (47%) of the 19 study patients pretreated with isosorbide. There were no side effects, including hypotension, orthostatic effect, and reflex tachycardia. Sublingual isosorbide safely and effectively lowers systolic and diastolic BP in patients with severe, uncontrolled arterial hypertension.
(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:426-428)