Hypertension: Are You on More Medication Than You Need?

February 6, 2015 3:36 PM

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Are many hypertensive patients being treated with more medication than they need? The recent JNC8 report said yes, but for the wrong reason! It said that in treating people over the age of 60, we should ease up and accept a systolic pressure (the upper number) up to 150 and not bother to keep it below the longstanding target of 140. In a recent blog I discussed why I and many other hypertension specialists disagree with this recommended change. We've achieved a substantial reduction in cardiovascular events, particularly stroke, aiming at the traditional target of 140. There is insufficient evidence to abandon that goal. It does not constitute over-treatment.

That said, it is nevertheless true that, for other reasons, millions are on more medication than they need and are suffering unnecessary adverse effects, such as fatigue, dizziness and even fainting, and unneeded extra costs. You need to be on as much medication as is necessary to bring your blood p...

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