Effects of SSRI medication on heart rate and blood pressure in individuals with hypertension and depression

M. F. Peixoto, M. L.R. Cesaretti, S. D. Hood, A. Tavares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: To test the role of escitalopram on blood pressure and heart rate of individuals with hypertension and depression. Methods: A total of 30 individuals participated in this study who were being treated for hypertension and were diagnosed with major depression. Escitalopram (10–20 mg) was administered to 15 individuals, while the other 15 received placebo. These individuals were followed for 8 weeks with regular monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate. Scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were evaluated within the first, second, fourth, and eighth weeks of the study onset. Results: Comparing with placebo, heart rate was lower in the escitalopram group (66.79 ± 9.85 vs. 74.10 ± 9.52 bpm, p = 0.044). There was not a significant decrease of systolic blood pressure (140.80 ± 16.48 vs 139.61 ± 18.92 mmHg, p = 0.85) and diastolic blood pressure (80.55 ± 12.64 vs 80.18 ± 16.36 mmHg, p = 0.94). Conclusion: Escitalopram decreases HR, but not BP, in individuals with hypertension and depression. Abbreviation: SH: systemic hypertension; BP: blood pressure; DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; SRQ 20: Self-Report Questionnaire; SCID: Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; HR: heart rate; SNS: Sympathetic nervous system; HPA: hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis; RAA: renin, angiotensin, aldosterone system; NE: norepinephrine; CSF: cerebrospinal fluid; HAM-D: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale; CRF: corticotropin releasing factor; ACTH: adrenocorticotropic hormone; BMI: Body mass index; SBP: systolic blood pressure; DBP: diastolic blood pressure; t: time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Hypertension
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019


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