Letters from Readers

Jan 1, 1996

The Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center in Virginia published a report in the May 1995 American Journal of Hypertension about the use of tolazamide as an alternative to insulin therapy.

The sulfonylurea decreased the weight of patients, but increased their mean systolic blood pressure from an average of 133 to 142 . The systolic number is the first number in a blood pressure measurement-for example, the systolic number is 120 in a measurement of 120 over 80. Tolazamide caused no change in the diastolic blood pressure. Some patients, however, did experience a decrease in their mean systolic pressure from 136 to 124.

The researchers concluded that, "In spite of the potential benefits of reversal of insulin resistance and weight reduction, altering therapy of type 2 diabetes mellitus from insulin to tolazamide may increase blood pressure, thereby increasing cardiovascular risk."

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