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A comparison of verapamil and nifedipine on quality of life

Contact Information


Dr. A Palmer

Calcium channel blockers, nifedipine, quality of life, verapmil


1. Aspects of quality of life (symptoms, psychological well-being and activity) were evaluated by self-administered questionnaires in a 4 month randomised double-blind trial of titrated doses of verapamil slow release (n = 41) compared with nifedipine retard (n = 40). An untreated diastolic blood pressure of 95-115 mm Hg was required for inclusion in the trial. 2. The mean age in both groups was 55 years. A significant difference between the two drugs was found in the average reporting of symptoms with an increase on nifedipine (P less than 0.01). The reporting of swollen ankles and flushing (P less than 0.05) increased on nifedipine, and nocturia (P less than 0.05) increased on verapamil. Measures of psychiatric morbidity tended to improve on verapamil and deteriorate on nifedipine. Only the change in cognitive function was significant between the drugs, being worse on nifedipine (P = 0.05). 3. There was no difference between the two groups in the fall in diastolic blood pressure (average 18 mm Hg on nifedipine and 17 mm Hg on verapamil). There was a significantly greater fall in systolic blood pressure on nifedipine (23 mm Hg) compared with verapamil (13 mm Hg) (P less than 0.01). 4. The two drugs differed in their effects on measures of quality of life. The improvements in symptomatic complaints and psychological well-being on verapamil may have been due to inclusion in a trial, although we cannot exclude the possibility of a drug effect. Conversely the increase in symptoms and self-assessed cognitive impairment on nifedipine were considered to be side-effects of the drug.


Palmer, A., Fletcher, A., Hamilton, G., Muriss, S., & Bulpitt, C. (1990). A comparison of verapamil and nifedipine on quality of life. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 30(3), 365–370.





Conent Area

A Palmer

EWB-Related Construct

(4) quality of life

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(5) RCT

Sex (%Female)

verapamil: 46.3%
nifedipine: 50.0%

Age (Mean, SD)

verapamil: 55.1, 7.9
nifedipine: 54.8, 9.1

Younger Controls?


Longitudinal Data?


Sample Size



verapamil and nifedipine

Ethnicity (%white)

not stated (UK)

Inclusion Criteria

The subjects were either newly diagnosed out-patients, or treated hypertensives who failed to respond satisfactorily to previous therapy.
Previously treated hypertensive patients had to satisfy entry criteria during a 3 week wash-out period.
Blood pressure entry criteria were a sitting, untreated diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 95-115 mm Hg (phase V) on two consecutive occasions within 3 weeks, and a difference between the readings of 10 mm Hg or less.

Exclusion Criteria

Patients with abnormal haematological or biochemical screen results were excluded, as were patients with the usual contra-indications for the two drugs. Patients were also excluded if they were known to be intolerant to calcium channel blockers, were insulin requiring diabetics, if they were receiving digoxin, antidepressants or major tranquillisers, or when informed consent was refused.

EWB Measures

Quality of life

Non-EWB Behavioral


Physiological Measures

(1) autonomic nervous system

Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm


Brain Region/Circuit


Biological Measures


Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?


Data Avalability Details


Diagnostic Measures

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