Excessive Blood Pressure Response to Clonidine in Hospitalized Patients With Asymptomatic Severe Hypertension

Academic Article


  • Background: There are limited and nonconcordant data on the rapidity and safety of blood pressure response to clonidine in the setting of asymptomatic severe hypertension. We evaluated the blood pressure response to clonidine in hospitalized patients with asymptomatic severe hypertension. Methods: We performed a review of hospitalized, noncritically ill patients receiving clonidine within 6 hours of developing asymptomatic severe hypertension (systolic blood pressure [SBP] >180 or diastolic blood pressure [DBP] >110 mm Hg in the absence of acute hypertension-mediated target organ damage). The incidence of mean arterial pressure (MAP) reduction by ≥30% at 4 hours after clonidine was the primary endpoint. Results: We identified 200 relevant patient encounters (median age 63 years, 48.5% women). Median time to clonidine following asymptomatic severe hypertension was 2.8 hours. A total of 20 (10%) patients had ≥30% MAP reduction within 4 hours after clonidine, and 32 (16%) patients had ≥30% reduction in either SBP, DBP, or MAP. Older age, female sex, and preexisting vascular disease were associated with ≥30% MAP reductions (P < 0.05). Only patient sex and clonidine dose of 0.3 mg were significant in multivariable models. There were 14 adverse events observed within 24 hours of administration of clonidine; most (9) were acute kidney injury. There were no ischemic (myocardial, cerebrovascular) events. Conclusions: A substantial minority of hospitalized patients with asymptomatic severe hypertension experience precipitous blood pressure decline with clonidine, and though blood pressure declines more precipitously in women and those receiving higher doses (0.3 mg specifically), the response to clonidine is generally not predictable on clinical grounds.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28556774
  • Author List

  • Hanna J; Ghazi L; Yamamoto Y; Simonov M; Shah T; Wilson FP; Peixoto AJ
  • Start Page

  • 433
  • End Page

  • 440
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 5