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Beta-Blockers Should Be the Second Line of Treatment

by Medindia Content Team on June 28, 2006 at 1:03 PM
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Beta-Blockers Should Be the Second Line of Treatment

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) said that doctors should not prescribe beta blockers to combat high blood pressure.

Government medicine watchdog's said that drugs that are currently prescribed are to be replaced with more effective drugs. According to the recent study it was found that beta-blockers though control blood pressure other treatments work better and have less serious side effects.

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Other treatments should be given patients aged 55 and above especially those who belong to the African or Caribbean descent. Other treatments include prescribing calcium channel blocker or a thiazide-type diuretic initially and later prescribe beta blockers. And for those below 55 years are to be given an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker. High blood pressure or hypertension affects approximately six million people in UK. Statistics shows that hypertension results in about 125,000 strokes and heart attacks every year.

Prof Graham MacGregor, the chairman of the Blood Pressure Association, said that treatment of high blood pressure is therefore essential a sit would save the lives of millions of people in UK. Conventional use of Beta-blockers increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also has a number of side effects such as loss of libido, energy and enjoyment of life. But this new strategy is thought to reduce the risk of the heart attack and stroke by 44 % when compared to beta-blocker therapy.

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