These two blood pressure drugs may harm your health, study finds

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A groundbreaking study conducted over 17 years involving more than 730,000 individuals treated for high blood pressure has been revealed by researchers at Columbia University.

This extensive research sheds light on the effects of two common blood pressure medications: chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide, both of which are used to prevent heart attacks, heart failure hospitalizations, and strokes.

While both medications have been effective in managing high blood pressure, this study has uncovered significant differences in their safety profiles. Notably, chlorthalidone, despite its efficacy, carries a higher risk of adverse effects compared to hydrochlorothiazide.

Patients taking chlorthalidone were found to have nearly triple the risk of developing dangerously low levels of potassium, a condition known as hypokalemia.

This condition can lead to serious health issues, including abnormal heart rhythms, confusion, kidney failure, and potentially even the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The incidence of hypokalemia in patients treated with chlorthalidone was 6.3%, markedly higher than the 1.9% observed in those on hydrochlorothiazide.

Furthermore, the study also pointed out an increased risk of electrolyte imbalances and kidney problems among users of chlorthalidone, risks that persisted even when the drug was administered in lower doses.

These findings have sparked discussions about the need to reconsider chlorthalidone’s place in treatment guidelines and call for more rigorous patient monitoring when this medication is prescribed.

Managing high blood pressure is crucial as it affects millions worldwide and can lead to devastating health consequences if left unchecked. Effective management typically involves a combination of medication, lifestyle adjustments, stress management, and regular medical follow-ups.

Beyond medication, adopting a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and employing stress-reduction techniques are vital. Additionally, monitoring blood pressure at home can be an effective part of managing the condition.

The findings from this study emphasize the necessity of personalized treatment plans in high blood pressure management and highlight the ongoing need for research to optimize medication choices.

The insights provided by George Hripcsak and his team, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, serve as a crucial reminder of the complexities involved in treating high blood pressure.

They underscore the importance of considering both the benefits and the potential risks of medications in crafting effective treatment strategies.

This study is a significant contribution to the field, guiding healthcare providers and patients in making informed decisions about blood pressure management.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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