Study reveals most common BP drugs used in US is not the best

A large number of Americans take ACE inhibitor to control their high blood pressure and in fact these medicines are the most commonly used antihypertensive in USA. A recent international study of 5 million patients that have been taking these medicines is now casting doubts on the effectiveness in comparison to another class of medicines for blood pressure. Common drugs under the class of ACD inhibitors are benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril and lisinopril followed by several others. According to the study author Dr. George Hripcsak, chair of biomedical informatics at Columbia University of New York City, this study can help to guide doctors in their medical decision making process. As per guidelines of American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, treatment for high blood pressure can be done by drugs from five different categories of medicines.

These medicine classes are dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, thiazide diuretics, and non dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. To get information about frequency of the medicines prescribed. Date of 5 million patients across Germany, USA, Japan and South Korea was tracked by Hripcsak’s team. Single drug was used for the blood pressure treatment.

Among half these patients or 48 % cases ACE inhibitors were prescribed first, while 17 % were prescribed thiazide diuretics by their doctors. Data shows that patients that were given thiazide diuretics had 15 % lesser heart attacks, strokes and heart problems related issues followed by low rates of side effects when compared to people that had been prescribed treatment through ACE inhibitors. Details of the study which has been published in The Lancet journal this week also showed that non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers are also not as effective as other first line drugs for blood pressure. The team calculated that 3100 major cardiovascular issues in patients that were prescribed ACE inhibitors would have been averted if these patients were prescribed thiazide diuretic.

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