Review Article


, Volume 59, Supplement 2, pp 21-25

First online:

Diuretics as a Basis of Antihypertensive Therapy

An Overview
  • Norman M. KaplanAffiliated withSouthwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas

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Diuretics have been, except for during a few recent years, the most commonly used therapy for hypertension. Although use of these agents fell significantly in the early 1990s, since then it has begun to increase again. Their recent return to popularity reflects 3 major factors: (i) recognition of the effectiveness of much lower dosages than previously used, thereby providing good antihypertensive activity with fewer adverse effects; (ii) the excellent reductions in morbidity and mortality achieved by low dosage diuretic-based therapy in multiple randomised controlled trials in elderly patients with hypertension; and (iii) the increasing recognition that some diuretic-induced shrinkage of effective blood volume is essential for the adequate treatment of many, if not most, patients with hypertension. Therefore, diuretics will probably continue to be the basis for antihypertensive therapy, and the indapamide sustained release 1.5mg formulation provides all the essential characteristics of diuretic therapy.