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Diuretics Best Drug For High Blood Pressure

Cheapest Hypertension Treatment May Be Best


Updated March 30, 2005

In one of the largest studies of it's kind researchers have concluded that the best medication for treating high blood pressure is also the least expensive. The humble diuretic - better known as a "water pill" was found to be more effective for treating high blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular complications than newer and higher priced medications.

"The preferred drug is the diuretic for three reasons. It provides better control of hypertension; it reduces complications from hypertension--particularly heart failure-- more effectively; and it is 10 to 20 times less expensive than the other drugs used in the trial," said Curt Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, chairman of the study's steering committee.

The diuretic used in the study - chlorthalidone has been around for many years and has an average cost of about $35.00 per year for treatment of hypertension. The other medications in the study - amlodipine (a calcium channel blocker sold under the name Norvasc) or lisinopril, (an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor sold under the names Prinivil and Zestril.) can have a yearly cost twenty times that of a diuretic.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure and a diuretic is not part of your treatment regime you may want to talk with your doctor about adding or switching to a diuretic. Many patients may need more than one type of medication because of other conditions that may exist. But if a diuretic is the right medication for you it could be a great boost to your pocketbook.

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