To assess the safety and efficacy of continuous infusion (CIV)-labetalol compared to -nicardipine in controlling blood pressure (BP) in the acute stroke setting.
Patients were eligible if they had a diagnosis of an acute stroke and were administered either CIV-labetalol or CIV-nicardipine. Study outcomes were assessed within the first 24 h of the antihypertensive infusion.
A total of 3,093 patients were included with 3,008 patients in the CIV-nicardipine group and 85 in the CIV-labetalol group. No significant difference was observed in percent time at goal BP between the nicardipine (82%) and labetalol (85%) groups (p = 0.351). There was also no difference in BP variability between nicardipine (37%) and labetalol (39%) groups (p = 0.433). Labetalol was found to have a shorter time to goal BP as compared to nicardipine (24 min vs. 40 min; p = 0.021). While CIV-nicardipine did have a higher incidence of tachycardia compared to labetalol (17% vs. 4%; p <0.001), the incidence of hypotension (13% vs. 15%; p = 0.620) and bradycardia (24% vs. 22%; p = 0.797) were similar.
These results indicate that CIV-labetalol and CIV-nicardipine are comparable in safety and efficacy in controlling BP for patients with acute stroke.

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