Items in AFP with MESH term: Antihypertensive Agents
ABSTRACT: Poorly controlled hypertension is a common finding in the outpatient setting. When patients present with severely elevated blood pressure (i.e., systolic blood pressure of 180 mm Hg or greater, or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mm Hg or greater), physicians need to differentiate hypertensive emergency from severely elevated blood pressure without signs or symptoms of end-organ damage (severe asymptomatic hypertension). Most patients who are asymptomatic but have poorly controlled hypertension do not have acute end-organ damage and, therefore, do not require immediate workup or treatment (within 24 hours). However, physicians should confirm blood pressure readings and appropriately classify the hypertensive state. A cardiovascular risk profile is important in guiding the treatment of severe asymptomatic hypertension; higher risk patients may benefit from more urgent and aggressive evaluation and treatment. Oral agents may be initiated before discharge, but intravenous medications and fast-acting oral agents should be reserved for true hypertensive emergencies. High blood pressure should be treated gradually. Appropriate, repeated follow-up over weeks to months is needed to reach desired blood pressure goals.
Blood Pressure Treatment Targets for Uncomplicated Hypertension - Cochrane for Clinicians
First-Line Treatment for Hypertension - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Less than 25 percent of patients with hypertension in the United States have their blood pressure under control, mainly because of inadequate or inappropriate therapy and noncompliance. Approximately one half of these treatment failures are related to factors such as cost and adverse effects of medication, complex drug regimens, failure of clinicians to fully realize the benefits of antihypertensive therapy and lack of patient education. Other major causes of unresponsiveness to antihypertensive therapy include "white coat" hypertension, pseudohypertension, obesity, volume overload, excess alcohol intake and sleep apnea, as well as inappropriate antihypertensive drugs and drug combinations, and unfavorable interactions with prescription and other drugs. In many patients, these factors must be dealt with before blood pressure can be controlled.
The Calcium Channel Antagonist Controversy - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Optimal treatment of the patient who has sustained an acute ischemic stroke requires rapid assessment and early intervention. The leisurely approach to acute stroke management sometimes taken in the past should be replaced by an approach that treats stroke as a true medical emergency. Thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator has been labeled for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, but it must be given within three hours of stroke onset. However, fibrinolytic therapy can be given safely to only a fraction of patients with acute stroke, and more broadly applicable therapies are needed. Recent evidence does not support the routine use of heparin in patients with acute stroke, and early use of aspirin offers only modest benefit. Neuroprotective therapies designed to interfere with cytotoxic events initiated by ischemia are undergoing clinical trials that should be completed within the next year. At present, only tissue plasminogen activator has been labeled for acute stroke treatment; however, other agents are on the horizon, and much can be done supportively to improve neurologic outcome. Because of the unique susceptibility of neurons to ischemia, minutes count. Thus, hospitals providing care for patients with acute stroke should organize clinical protocols and pathways for effective implementation of therapies.
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (or blockers) are a newer class of antihypertensive agents. These drugs are selective for angiotensin II (type 1 receptor); unlike angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they do not inhibit bradykinin metabolism or enhance prostaglandin synthesis. Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are well tolerated. Cough occurs much less often with these agents than with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and they do not adversely affect lipid profiles or cause rebound hypertension after discontinuation. Clinical trials indicate that angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are effective and safe in the treatment of hypertension. Their use in congestive heart failure and renal disease is under investigation.
ABSTRACT: Hypertension in blacks is usually characterized by low renin, expanded volume and sensitivity to salt. Diuretics are the preferred initial therapy, but response to calcium channel antagonists is also good. The blood pressure response to monotherapy with beta blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors is blunted, but this effect is abolished with concomitant use of diuretics. The two major types of hypertension in older persons are isolated systolic hypertension and combined systolic and diastolic hypertension. Strong data support the treatment of combined hypertension in patients 60 to 79 years of age and isolated systolic hypertension in patients 60 to 96 years of age. Diuretics and long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists are the recommended initial therapies for isolated systolic hypertension. More studies are necessary before recommendations can be made about the treatment of combined hypertension in patients 80 years of age and older.
ABSTRACT: The sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-VI) includes recommendations for the assessment of overall cardiovascular risk and the need for active antihypertensive drug therapy. Once the decision to initiate antihypertensive drug therapy has been made, JNC-VI recommends one of three paths for the choice of initial therapy: one path for patients with uncomplicated hypertension, another for those with well-defined indications for certain drugs and a third path for patients with various concomitant conditions in which one or another drug has favorable effects. At this time, the place for the newest class of antihypertensive drugs, the angiotensin II receptor antagonists, remains uncertain. Currently, they are considered reasonable alternatives for patients who have a compelling need for an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor but develop a cough while taking this medication. When data from ongoing trials become available, angiotensin II receptor antagonists may prove to be a good choice for initial therapy in many patients because of the favorable side effect profile of this class of drugs.