- The effect of nifedipine monotherapy, retard tablets, 20 mg bid, was evaluated in 23 hypertensive patients, mean age, 79 +/- 2 years. Twenty-one patients completed an eight-week study. Blood pressure (BP) decreased to 160/90 mm Hg in 15 patients; in four additional patients diastolic BP dropped by 15% to 28%. In a subset of five patients with isolated systolic hypertension, a significant reduction in systolic BP was noted. Side effects were relatively mild and only two patients discontinued the study. The results suggest that nifedipine monotherapy offers an alternative, logic, therapeutic approach to hypertension in the elderly.