Research Article

Renin concentrations and effects of propranolol and spironolactone in patients with hypertension.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 31 January 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:251
  1. B E Karlberg,
  2. B Kågedal,
  3. L Tegler,
  4. K Tolagen


    In a crossover study 32 patients with hypertension were randomly allocated to treatment with spironolactone 200 mg/day for two months, propranolol 320 mg/day for two months, and a combination of both drugs at half the dose. Between the treatments placebo was given for two months. Both spironolactone and propranolol lowered the blood pressure significantly in both positions. The initial plasma renin activity (PRA) levels ranged from 0-4 to 5-0 mug angiotensin I l-1 h-1, and there was a close correlation between these levels and the effects of the drugs: with increasing PRA the response to propranolol was better while the opposite was true for spironolactone. Spironolactone reduced the blood pressure more at eight than at four weeks, while no such difference could be shown for propranolol. Spironolactone and propranolol together decreased the blood pressure still further irrespective of the initial PRA. All patients achieved a normal supine blood pressure.