• Previous studies have indicated that some hypertensive patients, following a period of effective treatment with certain antihypertensive drugs, may experience prolonged normotension after drug withdrawal. We have studied the ability of carteolol, a nonselective β-adrenoceptor antagonist with intrinsic sympathomimetic activity, to produce such remissions of hypertension. Thirty-four patients whose diastolic blood pressure was controlled at 90 mm Hg or less with carteolol monotherapy (2.5 to 5.0 mg/d for an average of 328 days) were randomized to a nine-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled drug-withdrawal trial. Those patients randomized to continue carteolol therapy had initially responded to carteolol treatment with reductions in blood pressure from 151±4/99±2 to 132±4/80±2 mm Hg. Those randomized to treatment with placebo had initially responded with blood pressure reductions from 154±4/97±2 to 137±4/81±2 mm Hg. Changes in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg±SEM) from baseline during carteolol therapy to the final visit at nine months were not different for patients receiving placebo (13±5/6±4 mm Hg, recumbent; 11±6/4±4 mm Hg, standing) or carteolol (11±5/7±3 mm Hg, recumbent; 12±6/7±3 mm Hg, standing). The final mean recumbent diastolic blood pressure (86.9 mm Hg) was the same in both groups. Prolonged normotension may follow a period of carteolol treatment, again suggesting the potential importance of periodic withdrawal of antihypertensive medication.
(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1725-1728)