Original research article| Volume 88, ISSUE 3, P413-417, September 2013

Combined oral contraceptive containing drospirenone does not modify 24-h ambulatory blood pressure but increases heart rate in healthy young women: prospective study



      Hypertension is a primary cardiovascular risk factor. Oral contraceptives (OCs) may increase blood pressure and cardiovascular events. We evaluated whether an OC containing ethynylestradiol (EE) in association with the spironolactone-derived progestin drospirenone (DRSP) influences 24-h ambulatory blood pressure of normotensive women.

      Study Design

      Twenty-four-hour blood pressure was measured every 30 min by an ambulatory blood pressure device in 18 normotensive healthy women prior to and after 6 months of use of an OC containing 30 mcg EE and 3 mg DRSP.


      OC induced no modification in 24-h, nighttime and daytime blood pressure. Heart rate increased about 4 beats/min in the 24-h (p<.05) and daytime (p<.02) measurements.


      In normotensive women, an OC containing 30 mcg EE plus 3 mg DRSP does not modify blood pressure, and significantly increases 24-h and daytime heart rate. These data suggest a neutral effect on hypertension-associated cardiovascular risk and point out an unreported effect on heart rate of which cause and effect require further evaluation.


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