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Table 3 Main cardiovascular effects of the different antihypertensive drugs

From: Control of hypertension in the critically ill: a pathophysiological approach

  Heart rate Myocardial contractility Preload Systemic vascular resistance
Nitrates     
Nitroglycerin + 0 _ _ _
Nitroprusside + 0 _ _ _ _
Hydralazine +/++ 0 0/+ _ _ _
ACE inhibitors and AT1 receptor blockers 0 0 _ _ _ _
Calcium channel blockers     
Amlodipine _ _ 0 ++
Nifedipine _ _ 0 + + +
Nicardipine 0 _ 0 +++
Diltiazem _ _ _ 0 +
β−blockers _ _ _ _ _ 0 +
β-blockers with intrinsic _ _ 0 0/_
sympathomimetic activity     
Phentolamine 0/ _ _ 0/+ _ _ _
Urapidil 0/+ 0 _ _ _ _ _
Diuretics 0/+ 0 _ _ _ + +
Clonidine _ _ 0 0 _ _
Methyldopa 0/ _ 0/ _ 0/ + _ _
  1. 0, no effect; - Slight negative effect; -- moderate negative effect; --- strong negative effect.
  2. + Slight positive effect; + + moderate positive effect; + + + strong positive effect.
  3. ACE angiotensin-converting enzyme, AT1 angiotensin II subtype 1.