Switching blood pressure drugs may be more effective than doubling dose

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Researchers from Uppsala University have found that patients treated with blood pressure-lowering drugs can benefit more from a change of medication than from doubling the dose of their current medication.

This conclusion is based on a study involving 280 patients, who tested four different blood pressure-lowering drugs over a year.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Key Findings

The study found that the impact of changing medication could be twice as significant as the effect of doubling the patient’s current medication dosage.

It was evident from the study that certain patients achieved lower blood pressure from one drug compared to another, a variation substantial enough to be clinically relevant.

Most Swedes develop high blood pressure at some point; currently, over two million Swedes suffer from this condition.

Only a fifth of them manage to control their blood pressure through drug therapy, and some studies suggest only half of them adhere to their prescribed blood pressure medication regime.

Given the wide variety of blood pressure drugs, there’s a considerable risk that patients might not receive the optimal drug initially, leading to poor blood pressure control and unnecessary side effects.


The research investigated whether an optimal blood pressure drug exists for each individual, thus indicating the possibility for personalized blood pressure treatment.

Observing the treatment’s effect varied widely from individual to individual, the study concluded that some patients clearly achieved lower blood pressure from one drug than another.

This challenges the current treatment guidelines, where four drug groups are equally recommended for all patients with high blood pressure.

“If we personalize each patient’s medication, we can achieve a better effect than if we choose a drug from one of these four drug groups at random.

Our study shows that given the right blood pressure drug, the patient can lower their blood pressure and as a result can probably obtain better protection against future cardiovascular diseases more quickly,” said Johan Sundström, cardiologist and Professor of Epidemiology at Uppsala University, the study’s first author.


This research suggests that personalizing blood pressure medication could be a more effective strategy than the currently recommended method of equal preference among the four drug groups.

By identifying the right blood pressure drug for each individual, patients can potentially lower their blood pressure more effectively and gain better protection against future cardiovascular diseases.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and the best time to take high blood pressure drugs.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about new way to reduce blood pressure effectively, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.

The study was published in JAMA.

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