The antihypertensive effect of enalaprilat (MK-422), an intravenous (IV), nonsulfhydryl converting-enzyme inhibitor, was evaluated in a double-blind study of 14 patients with mild to moderate hypertension. The seven patients in the treatment group initially received IV enalaprilat 1.25 mg q6h for 24 hours. Thereafter, responding patients (diastolic blood pressure [BP] less than or equal to 95 mm Hg) continued receiving this dose q6h for an additional 24 hours, whereas nonresponding patients were increased to IV enalaprilat 5 mg q6h for another 24 hours. Baseline BP for enalaprilat was 161 +/- 5/107 +/- 2 mm Hg (+/- SEM), and for placebo it was 150 +/- 5/103 +/- 2 mm Hg. Within the first 60 minutes, a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic BP was noted in the enalaprilat group (P less than .05), without significant changes occurring in the placebo group. Although there was a gradual decline in both systolic and diastolic BP throughout the 48-hour study period in the placebo group, systolic and diastolic BP reduction was greater in the enalaprilat group, reaching a maximal decrease of 133 +/- 3/87 +/- 3 mm Hg. Adverse side effects did not occur in any patient.