Two Meds Better Than One for Many With High Blood Pressure

By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 5, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Almost half of People have high blood pressure and solely 24% have it beneath management, however what’s one of the simplest ways to deal with it — one high-dose capsule or two at a decrease dose?

A big new research means that two drugs could also be higher than one for a lot of older sufferers. Decreasing elevated blood strain to a sustainable degree is vital as a result of it reduces a affected person’s danger of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

“In geriatrics, we sometimes attempt to restrict the variety of drugs,” mentioned research writer Dr. Lillian Min, affiliate professor of geriatric and palliative medication on the College of Michigan. “The normal technique of working towards medication is to start out low, go sluggish, is the mantra.”

That signifies that medical doctors sometimes prescribe one blood strain medication at a low dose and enhance its power as wanted, to the utmost useful degree. If blood strain stays stubbornly excessive, they begin a second treatment.

However pointers issued prior to now decade advocate beginning a number of doses of medicines. So sufferers may take two drugs in a single combo capsule or individually in two tablets, Min mentioned. The goal is to reduce the danger of a aspect impact whereas providing the advantages of each drugs.

“So now the query turns into: If we’ll go up on the drugs, ought to we exhaust one earlier than beginning one other or ought to we now implement that new recommendation?” she mentioned.

It will depend on the affected person, in line with a brand new research of greater than 178,000 seniors handled by the U.S. Veterans Well being Administration.

Researchers famous that hypertension is among the commonest power situations affecting older sufferers. And the older folks get, the extra power situations they’re more likely to have and the extra drugs they’re more likely to take.

The brand new research included sufferers taking at the very least one blood strain medication however not at its most dose. A few quarter had been given an added blood strain treatment, whereas 75% had obtained increased doses of present ones.

Each remedies lowered their blood strain, the research discovered, however one lowered it extra.

Whereas taking only one treatment was extra more likely to be one thing sufferers would proceed, smaller doses of extra meds led to barely bigger reductions in blood strain, the research discovered.

Researchers discovered that when medical doctors intensified sufferers’ therapy on one drug, 65% have been nonetheless taking it months later in comparison with 50% of these whose medical doctors had added drugs as a substitute.

“The place that is probably the most clinically relevant can be to consider clinically complicated sufferers who’ve quite a lot of medicines already, and to start out contemplating extra of the nuances of their preferences,” Min mentioned. “What is sensible by way of discussing the blood strain objectives between the doctor or supplier and the affected person based mostly on what is going on on within the massive image? Is it extra vital to have a extra manageable routine or is it extra vital to get to the aim just a bit bit sooner?”

The findings have been printed Oct. 4 within the Annals of Inside Medication.

Dan Lackland, a professor of epidemiology on the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston, reviewed the findings.

He mentioned the benefit to receiving low doses of a couple of treatment is that the unintended effects are typically decrease with these smaller doses.

Alternatively, some sufferers do not wish to take a couple of capsule or have a more durable time accepting a number of tablets as a result of they really feel it signifies their situation is perhaps worse — even when it isn’t, he mentioned.

“What the paper was saying is: Take take a look at it. We have to do extra research … to essentially form of evaluate these,” Lackland mentioned. “One capsule with the next dose, two tablets with a decrease dose. And in addition wanting very strongly on the particular person affected person. Is the affected person going to take two tablets? Are they going to be reluctant?”

He mentioned future analysis might take into account what methods would assist sufferers be extra snug taking a couple of capsule, serving to them adjust to that routine and explaining the explanations for it.

“That is vital and I feel it, once more, emphasizes the significance of taking your blood strain treatment and getting that blood strain down,” Lackland mentioned. “And as you get the blood strain down, you’re certainly lowering your danger of heart problems and stroke, which is the place we wish to be.”

Extra data

The American Coronary heart Affiliation has extra on high blood pressure.

SOURCES: Lillian Min, MD, MSHS, affiliate professor, geriatric and palliative medication, College of Michigan Geriatrics, Ann Arbor; Daniel Lackland, DrPh, professor, epidemiology, Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston; Annals of Inside Medication, Oct. 4, 2021

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