Researchers in the United Kingdom have investigated whether antihypertensive medication reduction can be achieved without significant change in blood pressure control for older patients with hypertension. The study involved 569 participants aged 80 years and older with systolic blood pressure <150 mm Hg taking multiple antihypertensive medications. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either an intervention of antihypertensive medication reduction (involving removal of one drug, n = 282), or usual care (the control – where no medication changes were made, n = 287). Systolic blood pressure remained <150 mm Hg in 86.4% of the intervention group and 87.7% of the control group at 12 weeks, with medication reduction being continued in 66.3% of participants at this time. Changes in systolic blood pressure were greater in the intervention group than the control group by an average of 3.4 mm Hg (95% CI: 1.1-5.8 mm Hg). Although these results suggest antihypertensive medication reduction can be achieved without substantially changing blood pressure control for some older patients, additional research is required to further understand long-term outcomes of this intervention. More details can be viewed here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh