Nicardipine versus Labetalol for Hypertension during Acute Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Neurol India. 2022 Sep-Oct; 70(5):1793-1799.NI
Background and Objective
Current recommendations prescribe either nicardipine or labetalol as the first-line treatment for acute hypertension due to ease of use, availability, and low price. However, it is unclear if these drugs have different effectiveness and safety profiles. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of labetalol and nicardipine in patients with acute stroke.
Materials and Methods
MEDLINE via PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Google Scholar databases were electronically searched for the eligible publications from inception until March 2022. All full-text journal papers in English which compared the efficacy of nicardipine with that of labetalol on lowering blood pressure (BP; or treating hypertension) in all subtypes of acute stroke were included. The Cochrane Collaboration tool was used to assess the risk of bias. Data were analyzed using specific statistical methods.
Following the abstract and full-text screening, this meta-analysis included five retrospective cohorts and one prospective pseudorandomized cohort. Nicardipine's effect on time at goal BP was significantly superior to that of labetalol in patients with acute stroke (0.275 standardized mean difference [SMD], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.112-0.438, P = 0.001). The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher in the nicardipine group than that in the labetalol group. The pooled odds ratio (OR) was 1.509 (95% CI: 1.077-2.113, I2 = 0.00%, P = 0.757). The quality of included studies was found to be low.
More prospective, comparative trials are needed to investigate the efficacy of BP management as well as clinical outcomes in acute stroke patients receiving continuous labetalol and nicardipine infusions.