Reducing high blood pressure drugs may be safe in some older adults

In a new study, researchers found that a medication reduction strategy is safe among some older adults treated with high blood pressure drugs.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Oxford.

The team evaluated whether antihypertensive medication reduction is possible in patients ≥80 years without big changes in systolic blood pressure (BP) control or adverse events during a 12-week follow-up.

Patients were randomly assigned to either antihypertensive medication reduction (removal of one drug [intervention], 282), or usual care (control, 287).

At baseline, patients have prescribed a median of two high blood pressure medications.

At 12 weeks, 86.4% of patients in the intervention group and 87.7% of patients in the control group had a systolic BP <150 mm Hg.

In two-thirds of patients, medication reduction was sustained at 12 weeks.

In the intervention group, the mean change in systolic blood pressure was 3.4 mm Hg higher versus the control group.

At least one serious adverse event was reported in 12 participants in the intervention group and seven in the control group.

These findings suggest high blood pressure medication reduction can be achieved without substantial change in blood pressure control in some older patients with hypertension.

The lead author of the study is James P. Sheppard, Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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