Taking Meds Not as Easy as It Sounds

Patients with high blood pressure adhere to some drugs more than others

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Dealing with high blood pressure doesn't stop when you get a prescription. You actually have to take the drugs your doctor gives you. Getting people to stick to their blood pressure drugs is a common problem.

Researchers found that patients were most likely to stick to blood pressure drugs like Diovan, Atacand, and Cozaar, compared to some older types of blood pressure drugs. Patients were least likely to stick to beta-blockers for treating high blood pressure.

"Some blood pressure drugs are harder to take than others."

Although some patients stuck to some drugs more than others, the study's authors write that adherence to blood pressure medications could improve across the board.

These findings suggest that people with high blood pressure and their doctors need to talk more about how to stick to their drug doses. If patients are not taking their drugs as they were told, they are less likely to get their blood pressure under control.

The Study

  • Ian M. Kronish, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and colleagues reviewed 17 past studies in order to look at the relationship between antihypertensive drugs (drugs for high blood pressure) and patients' adherence to those drugs
  • Patients had more trouble sticking to their prescriptions of diuretics and beta blockers
  • Patients were more likely to follow their doses of angiotensin II receptor blockers and ACE inhibitors
  • On average, 28 percent of beta-blocker users stuck with their medication
  • 65 percent of patients taking angiotensin II receptor blockers stuck with their medication
  • Adherence to high blood pressure drugs could improve, no matter which class of drug patients are taking 
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Review Date: 
May 2, 2011
Last Updated:
May 26, 2011