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Risks May Outweigh Benefits for Blood Pressure Drug Combo

Posted Mar 22 2011 2:10pm

HealthDay News

Many older people struggling with high blood pressure are being inappropriately and unnecessarily prescribed a combination blood pressure medications, a team of Canadian researchers warns.

And, they caution, the often unwarranted dual protocol can have serious consequences: an increased risk for kidney failure and even death.

The two types of drugs in question are angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

On their own, each is well established and highly effective for controlling blood pressure, the study team stressed. Also, a small number of people those diagnosed with a particular blood pressure issue related to improper left ventricular systolic function may derive some added benefit from taking the two medications concurrently, they say.

But most seniors do not need both drugs, the researchers contend, particularly given the fresh indication that there is usually far more to lose than gain.

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