, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 77-89
Date: 17 Aug 2012

Antihypertensive Drugs

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Abstract

For most patients with systemic hypertension, long-term drug treatment is indicated and is beneficial. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that antihypertensive drugs offer protection against complications of hypertension. Whereas nondrug therapeutic options should be implemented in all patients, a vast majority will require pharmacological treatment to achieve goal blood pressure levels. Fortunately, a number of drugs are available to accomplish successful treatment of hypertensive disorders.

While it is conventional to initiate treatment with a single drug, a suitable combination of drugs is often required to control the blood pressure effectively. Although diuretics and β-blockers are effective and well tolerated, other classes of drugs are being increasingly used as the initial choice of therapy for hypertension. Every class of antihypertensive drugs offer advantages and some disadvantage; the physician should weigh the benefits and risks in selecting one drug over another. While the clinical parameters are followed in the management of patients with hypertension, it is also necessary to monitor the patients’ biochemical profile periodically in order to modify and adjust the therapy accordingly. A careful selection of drug therapy along with close follow-up offers the best prospect to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality in hypertension. This article provides an overview of drugs in the management of patients with hypertension.