The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Clevidipine (Cleviprex) for IV Treatment of Severe Hypertension

Clevidipine (Cleviprex – The Medicines Company), a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (CCB), has been approved by the FDA for intravenous (IV) use in lowering high blood pressure. It is the second IV CCB to be marketed in the US; nicardipine has been available in an IV formulation (Cardene IV) for more than 10 years. Like IV nicardipine, clevidipine will probably be used mainly for urgent treatment of hypertension in intensive care units, operating rooms and emergency departments.

DRUGS FOR HYPERTENSIVE EMERGENCIES — The usual goal of treatment for a hypertensive crisis is to reduce blood pressure quickly, while avoiding hypotension that could lead to myocardial infarction, stroke or loss of vision.1,2 Sodium nitroprusside, a short-acting arterial and venous dilator, was the treatment of choice for many years, but its toxicity (it is metabolized to cyanide) and ... more      

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