1. The effect of 4-6 weeks’ treatment with propranolol and nadolol on effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was studied, in 14 patients with essential hypertension, in single blind, random and cross-over design.

2. Both drugs caused comparable effective lowering of pulse and blood pressure.

3. When taken as the first drug, propranolol caused significant reduction in ERPF and GFR and a rise in filtration fraction (FF) and renal vascular resistance (RVR), whereas nadolol caused distinct rise in ERPF and a fall in FF and RVR but GFR remained unchanged.

4. These haemodynamic effects were reduced when propranolol was given immediately after the withdrawal of nadolol and were obviated when nadolol followed propranolol therapy. This suggested a carry-over effect of the first drug into the second phase of treatment.

5. We conclude that with short term therapy in essential hypertension, propranolol has a renal vasoconstrictor and nadolol a vasodilator effect.

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