Ready-to-Use Cardene I.V. lowers acutely elevated blood pressure: CLUE study

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Results from the CLUE study, a head-to-head comparison between Ready-to-Use Cardene® I.V. (nicardipine) and labetalol in the emergency room, showed that Ready-to-Use Cardene I.V. lowers acutely elevated blood pressure more effectively than labetalol. These data were presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The CLUE study is important for emergency room physicians because these findings demonstrate that using nicardipine instead of labetalol is more effective at controlling blood pressure in hypertensive patients”

"The CLUE study is important for emergency room physicians because these findings demonstrate that using nicardipine instead of labetalol is more effective at controlling blood pressure in hypertensive patients," says Frank Peacock, M.D. of the Cleveland Clinic, the study's lead investigator. "When physicians need to rapidly lower blood pressure, nicardipine is faster than labetalol. In this study, patients treated with nicardipine were approximately three times more likely to reach the target blood pressure range within 30 minutes than those treated with labetalol."

A sudden, sustained rise in blood pressure is abnormal and may cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, heart, brain, or other organs. The longer the blood pressure remains high, the greater the risk of organ damage. It is believed that a rapid, smooth reduction of the elevated blood pressure to a target range may improve patient outcomes.

A variety of agents may be used to treat high blood pressure in an emergency room setting. However, there have been few randomized studies comparing the relative benefits and risks of different antihypertensives, and there is little standardization of treatment regimens. Consequently, the choice of which agent to use in a particular patient may be determined by convenience alone. Only recently has nicardipine become available in Ready-to-Use bags which can be kept at the point-of-care and immediately available to treat the patient presenting with a hypertensive emergency.

"It is important to provide physicians with evidence-based guidance regarding the safe and effective lowering of blood pressure into a predefined target range," says Graham May, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for EKR Therapeutics, the company that developed and markets Ready-to-Use Cardene® I.V. "This is especially true in the emergency room where prompt control of high blood pressure may reduce the severity of a heart attack or stroke."

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