The relative efficacy of two formulations of nifedipine, slow release (SR) and gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS), to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients was evaluated in a prospective study. Nifedipine GITS 30 mg/day replaced nifedipine SR, 20 mg b.i.d. in 38 patients, 23 monitored by routine blood pressure measurements and 15 by ambulatory monitoring. Nifedipine GITS achieved a marked reduction in blood pressure with a smaller dose than nifedipine SR: 30 versus 40 mg/day, respectively. It is concluded that patients with hypertension controlled on a twice-daily dose of nifedipine prolonged action can be converted to a lower once-daily dose of nifedipine GITS without experiencing any increase in blood pressure. Tolerability and compliance improved when switching to the GITS formulation.