1. Previous studies in this laboratory indicated that a mixture of anti-hypertensive agents in the drinking water controlled the blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The present study was designed to determine which of the agents exerted the greatest anti-hypertensive effect.
2. Treatment was begun at 12 weeks of age in groups of eleven to seventeen rats with one of the following drugs: reserpine, chlorothiazide or hydrallazine. Blood pressures were recorded by the tail method under light ether anaesthesia every 2 weeks until the rats were approximately 70 weeks of age.
3. At 50 weeks of age, blood pressure of chlorothiazaide-treated rats averaged 40 mmHg below untreated control SHR; reserpine-treated SHR were also 40 mmHg lower than control rats, and hydrallazine-treated SHR were 85 mmHg below the control rats.
4. Rats in all groups gained weight normally and appeared in good health. Although all drugs were active, hydrallazine was considerably more effective than chlorothiazide or reserpine in the SHR.