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Paper Chase

Determinants of the pressor effect of phenylpropanolamine in healthy subjects.

JAMA. Jun 9, 1989;261(22):3267-72.
Blackburn GL, Morgan JP, Lavin PT, Noble R, Funderburk FR, Istfan N.

Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.

Abstract:

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is frequently used in over-the-counter diet aids and cold medicines, In view of concern about the safety of this sympathomimetic agent, we undertook a double-blind, multicenter clinical trial to determine the factors that influence the pressor effect of short-term oral administration of PPA in healthy individuals. Eight hundred eighty-one healthy individuals in four categories of body weight were randomized to receive placebo capsules three times per day (n = 286), a 75-mg sustained-release PPA hydrochloride preparation once per day (n = 296) followed by two doses of placebo capsules, or a 25-mg immediate-release PPA hydrochloride preparation three times per day (n = 299). The median age of the study population was 28 years, 56% were men, 73% were white, and 47% were in excess of 30% above their ideal body weight. Measurements of pulse rate and supine and standing blood pressure were made 11 times during the day of PPA administration. A statistically significant but clinically unimportant pressor effect for the short-term administration of PPA was observed. The effect occurred in the first 6 hours after administration and was greater in the sustained-release group. Significant independent determinants of the pressor effect of PPA were baseline diastolic blood pressure, baseline body weight, and treatment.