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HealthlineWhich Blood Pressure Medications Should You Avoid?

Talk to your patients about it!

Blood pressure management is a critical aspect of cardiovascular health, and the choice of medication can significantly impact patient outcomes. Recent studies have highlighted concerns with certain blood pressure medications, particularly alpha-blockers and alpha-2 agonists, due to their association with fluctuating blood pressure readings, which could increase mortality risk. This summary provides key insights into these findings and offers guidance for physicians to discuss these issues with patients, ensuring informed decisions in managing hypertension.

Key Points:

  • Medication Concerns: Alpha-blockers and alpha-2 agonists are linked to blood pressure variability, potentially increasing mortality risk.
  • Research Findings: Studies, including one presented at the 2018 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session, indicate that these medications may contribute to blood pressure fluctuations more than other antihypertensives.
  • First-Line Alternatives: Preferred medications for hypertension include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and thiazide diuretics.
  • Guideline Updates: The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology’s 2017 guidelines redefine high blood pressure, emphasizing lifestyle modifications and a broader range of treatment options.

Additional Points:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Emphasize the importance of non-pharmacological approaches in managing blood pressure.
  • Accurate Measurement: Guide patients on proper techniques for measuring blood pressure at home for reliable readings.

HCN Healer Handbook
When discussing blood pressure management, it’s crucial to convey the importance of consistency in medication and monitoring. Explain that while some medications like alpha-blockers and alpha-2 agonists were once common, newer research suggests they might not be the best option due to their association with variable blood pressure readings, which could impact long-term health. Emphasize the role of lifestyle changes and the availability of alternative medications that offer effective control with fewer risks. Encourage patients to engage actively in their treatment plan and to communicate any concerns or side effects they experience.

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