Are some blood pressure drugs easier to take?

(Reuters) — When it comes to treating high blood pressure, people may be more likely to stick with certain types of medication than others, a new study suggests.

In an analysis of 15 past studies, researchers found that on average, people were less likely to adhere to prescriptions of diuretics — a long used and cheap class of blood pressure drug sometimes referred to as water pills — than to relatively newer medications.

Patients were most likely to stick with angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs — a group of drugs that includes names like valsartan (Diovan), candesartan (Atacand) and losartan (Cozaar).

Coming in second were ACE inhibitors, which include ramipril (Altace), lisinopril (Prinivel, Zestril) and captopril (Capoten).

Overall, diuretic users were about twice as likely to stop taking their medication as ARB users, researchers report in the medical journal Circulation.

The various classes of blood pressure drugs differ in how they work and in their side effects. And that could be one reason that adherence differs, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Ian M. Kronish of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

However, a researcher not involved in the study said the findings do not necessarily mean that a person will stick with an ARB longer, or that those drugs should be a first choice for treating high blood pressure, said Dr. Niteesh K. Choudhry, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.


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