, Volume 36, Supplement 6, pp 26–30 | Cite as

Combined Action Drugs in the Treatment of Hypertension

  • Lennart Hansson
State of the Art Lecture


Combined action drugs is a term applied to describe antihypertensive agents which lower blood pressure by interference with more than one physiological mechanism contributing to the genesis and maintenance of hypertension. In this group numerous compounds have been developed which have an antagonistic effect on β-adrenoceptors and at the same time achieve other effects, for example vasodilatation, usually through an antagonistic effect at α-adrenoceptor sites. In view of the multifactorial aetiology of essential hypertension, it is logical to try to reduce the elevated arterial pressure in this condition by interfering with more than one mechanism. It seems to be important that a vasodilating component is present, since the hallmark of established essential hypertension is increased total peripheral resistance. Thus, a combined action drug with a vasodilating component will lower blood pressure and at the same time maintain organ perfusion.

A β-adrenoceptor blocking component is also desirable in view of the proven secondary prevention against coronary heart disease obtained with β-blockers and the proposed primary preventive effect attributable to β-blockade.

Finally, since the combination of β-blockade and vasodilatation (e.g. due to peripheral α1-blockade) usually does not induce metabolic disturbances, agents of this kind are not likely to elevate serum lipoproteins.

Thus, this paper will briefly review the use of the combined action drug carvedilol in the treatment of hypertension.


Essential Hypertension Carvedilol Pindolol Total Peripheral Resistance Celiprolol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© ADIS Press Limited 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lennart Hansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Göteborg, Östra HospitalGöteborgSweden

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