, Volume 38, Issue 3-4, pp 673-682
Date: 22 Nov 2006

Combination pharmacotherapy in hypertension

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Combination pharmacotherapy with two or more drugs is required in order to reach the currently recommended blood pressure goals in the majority of hypertensive patients, particularly those with a goal of <130/80 mm Hg. Further to the potentiation of the antihypertensive effects, benefits of combination therapy include the potential of fewer adverse affects and of improvement of patients’ compliance. Current guidelines recommend that combination pharmacotherapy might also be considered as initial treatment in patients with significant elevation of blood pressure and evidence of complications. Several effective and well-tolerated antihypertensive drug classes available today offer multiple options for combination therapy. The choice of antihypertensive agents should be made on the basis of current recommendations regarding first line drugs and compelling indications. Specific drug combinations might have additional beneficial or detrimental long-term metabolic effects, beyond their effects on blood pressure. However, more outcome data comparing antihypertensive drug combinations are required. The implementation of an intensive up-titration treatment strategy, together with a systematic use of full doses of multiple drug combinations, is expected to achieve optimal blood pressure control in the vast majority of hypertensive patients.