Anti hypertensive therapy

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Letter to the editor

Editor, – Patients medicated with nifedipine often present to the periodontist with gingival overgrowth. Several other drugs such as phenytoin and cyclosporin also have the propensity for gingival hyperplasia necessitating surgical intervention. This tissue over growth usually occurs in patients with pre-existing gingival inflammation, usually gingivitis or periodontitis and can cause enlargement which will interfere with function. With the increase in use of nifedipine amongst hypertensive individuals, the incidence of nifedipine hyperplasia is steadily rising. Treatment aimed at reducing gingival inflammation is essential before embarking on this therapy. In cases of overt reaction to nifedipine, the discontinuance of this medication is occasionally warranted.

I would be pleased if this could be brought to the attention of your readers.

S.B. Gairns
Periodontist
West Leederville, W.A.

Editorial note

Adverse reaction data suggest that this clinical problem may be a class effect of the dihydropyridine calcium antagonists.