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Optimal use of ??-blockers in high-risk hypertension: A guide to dosing equivalence

by Janet B. McGill
Vascular Health and Risk Management ()
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Hypertension is the number one diagnosis made by primary care physicians, placing them in a unique position to prescribe the antihypertensive agent best suited to the individual patient. In individuals with diabetes mellitus, blood pressure (BP) levels>130/80 mmHg confer an even higher risk for cardiovascular and renal disease, and these patients will benefit from aggressive antihypertensive treatment using a combination of agents. beta-blockers are playing an increasingly important role in the management of hypertension in high-risk patients. beta-blockers are a heterogeneous class of agents, and this review presents the differences between beta-blockers and provides evidence-based protocols to assist in understanding dose equivalence in the selection of an optimal regimen in patients with complex needs. The clinical benefits provided by beta-blockers are only effective if patients adhere to medication treatment long term. beta-blockers with proven efficacy, once-daily dosing, and lower side effect profiles may become instrumental in the treatment of hypertensive diabetic and nondiabetic patients.

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