Main objectives and new aspects of combination treatment of hypertension

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Aim:To review the various pharmacological approaches currently proposed for the treatment of hypertension.Results:With the evolution of pharmacological treatment of hypertension, various classes of agent (diuretics, β-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium antagonists and α1-blockers) have become available for the initiation of antihypertensive therapy. As monotherapy, each type of agent will normalize blood pressure in about half of all hypertensive patients. Replacing one drug with another that acts through a different mechanism improves the probability of controlling blood pressure. Another way to increase the number of responders is to increase the dose; however, this often results in more side effects. A preferable way of improving efficacy is to combine low doses of drugs that have different impacts on the cardiovascular system, thus opposing the compensatory responses that tend to limit the blood pressure drop.Conclusion:Low-dose drug combinations are generally well tolerated and the treatment of hypertension can be simplified by using fixed-dose combinations. These combinations have the potential to become a valuable alternative in the initiation of antihypertensive therapy.

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