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In December 2013, new guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure were issued by a group of experts appointed by the National Institutes of Health. The guidelines stirred much controversy in the medical community. Get the Public Citizen Health Research Group’s independent take on these new guidelines.
Recent evidence points to increased acute kidney injury associated with combining nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with two antihypertensive drugs: a diuretic plus either an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). Find out the names of these drugs. This is especially important for patients with hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease, because such patients are routinely treated with diuretics, ACE inhibitors and ARBs.
The article lists many drugs that treat high blood pressure but can also increase the risk of gout. If you have gout, ask your doctor whether your dose of any of these drugs could be reduced or whether you should switch to a medication with a lower gout risk. However, hypertension control is of utmost importance.
Tizanidine (ZANAFLEX) is a muscle relaxant for which more than 3.8 million prescriptions were filled in the U.S. last year. The article lists more than 64 drugs with which it can have dangerous interactions resulting in excess sedation, difficulty breathing or dangerously low blood pressure that can result in falling.
Low levels of sodium in the blood are one of the most common laboratory abnormalities and the consequences range from mild and non-specific to life-threatening. The article discusses the symptoms of low blood sodium and lists 53 prescription drugs that can cause it. We urge that both patients and health professionals be alert for symptoms that may signal the onset of hyponatremia if the patient is predisposed to this disorder as a result of their drug therapy or diseases.
The results of a very large clinical trial designed to give a definitive answer to the decades-old question of which of four commonly used families of high blood pressure medications should be prescribed first was published in the December 18, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The answer is that the oldest drugs — known as the thiazide diuretics, or water pills — are superior in preventing one or more major forms of cardiovascular disease to the other families of drugs.
DO NOT STOP TAKING ANY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN.