Contributor: Ramnik Dhaliwal, MD, JD
- Nitroprusside: becomes effective in under a minute, and becomes ineffective 10 minutes after stopping it.
- Nitroprusside can metabolize into cyanide leading to toxicity, however this is rare.
- Nitroglycerin: predominately causes vasodilation but some arterial dilation as well; preferred agent in patients with volume overload/CHF
- Adrenergic Blocking Agents
- Labetalol: alpha/beta-blocking agent with a rapid onset of 5 minutes or less given as bolus or intravenous drip
- Esmolol: cardioselective beta blocker with rapid onset and short duration of action making it easily titratable
- Hydralazine: direct arterial dilator; patient dependent response that can be unpredictable. Use with caution in patients with CAD or an aortic dissection because there will be a reflexive increase in heart rate to combat the arteriolar dilation.
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- Nicardipine: Given as an IV infusion starting at 5g/hr up to 15g/hr. This drug has a slower onset of action making it difficult to titrate and it has a longer serum elimination half-life (3-6 hours)
- Clevidipine: rapid onset and short duration of action; Reduces BP without affecting cardiac filling pressures but can cause reflex tachycardia
)Wani-Parekh P, Blanco-Garcia C, Mendez M, Mukherjee D. Guide of Hypertensive Crisis Pharmacotherapy. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2017;17(1):52-57. doi:10.2174/1871529X16666161220142020
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Maloberti A, Cassano G, Capsoni N, et al. Therapeutic Approach to Hypertension Urgencies and Emergencies in the Emergency Room. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2018;25(2):177-189. doi:10.1007/s40292-018-0261-4
Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD