- Blood pressure is the pressure of the circulating blood in the walls of the blood vessels.
- Combination of low-dose blood pressure medications could be effective in treating hypertension.
- Side effects were fewer among combination blood pressure medications when compared to a single dose drug.
Using a combination of blood pressure lowering medications with a quarter-dose could be effective for treating hypertension. This could also result in a fewer side effects when compared to a single dose of one drug, finds a new study in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension
Anthony Rodgers, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., study author and professor at The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, said, "Widespread control of blood pressure is generally low, even in high-income countries. The largest global survey of hypertension patients showed 88 percent of those aware of hypertension are treated with medications, but only one in three were able to gain control of their blood pressure."
‘Low-dose blood pressure medications could be effective in treating hypertension with fewer side effects when compared to a single dose of a standard drug.’
"Because high blood pressure is so common and serious, even small improvements in management can have a large impact on public health."
There are various classes of medications to treat high blood pressure and each could lead to different side effects such as
- Muscle cramps
The quarter-dose therapy for both standard dose and placebo were compared. The research team analyzed and compared the results of about 42 trials. This included 20,284 people who had high blood pressure on various doses of medication or who took no medications.
The five main classes that were used to treat hypertension involved:
- ACE Inhibitors
- Angiotensin receptor blockers
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
The findings revealed that:
- A combination of two medications each at a quarter dose was found to be as effective as one blood pressure lowering medication at a standard dose.
- Combining four medications each at a quarter dose was equal to nearly twice as effective in taking one blood pressure lowering medication at the standard dose.
- The side effects from taking single and dual quarter-dose therapies could be the same as the placebo and also much less than the standard dose of a single blood pressure lowering medication.
Although low-dose blood pressure combinations are effective, there isn't enough research to show how doctors are prescribing blood pressure lowering therapies. Currently available drug combinations are also fewerfor treatment.[Pl elaborate this line. Sounds abrupt.]
Rodgers said, "This new approach to treatment needs more research before it can be recommended more widely."
"The findings have not yet been tested in large long-term trials. People should not reduce the doses of their current medications."
- Alexander Bennett, Clara K. Chow, Michael Chou, Hakim-Moulay Dehbi, Ruth Webster, Abdul Salam, Anushka Patel, Bruce Neal, David Peiris, Jay Thakkar, John Chalmers, Mark Nelson, Christopher Reid, Graham S. Hillis, Mark Woodward, Sarah Hilmer, Tim Usherwood, Simon Thom, Anthony Rodgers et.al, 'Efficacy and Safety of Quarter-Dose Blood Pressure-Lowering Agents', Hypertension (2017); https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.09202