Diuretics Best Against High Blood Pressure

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by karen2002, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    I just happened across this today. Funny thing, an endocrinologist told me last week I should consider a diuretic, as my high blood pressure was not responding to my meds. ---Karen

    Diuretics Best Against High Blood Pressure
    Tue Dec 17, 3:40 PM ET Add Science - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Older and cheaper diuretic drugs, also known as water pills, work as well as and often better than newer and more expensive drugs in fighting high blood pressure, U.S. doctors reported on Tuesday.

    Patients newly diagnosed with high blood pressure should start taking a diuretic to see if it works, and only add drugs such as ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers if their blood pressure needs to be lowered further, the researchers said.

    Their study of more than 40,000 men and women with high blood pressure is the largest to date. Most trials of pressure-lowering drugs have tested them against placebo -- and all the licensed drugs work better than taking a dummy pill.

    "(The trial) shows that diuretics are the best choice to treat hypertension and reduce the risks of its complications, both medically and economically," Dr. Claude L'Enfant, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, told a news conference.

    Diuretics lower blood pressure by ridding the body of excess water, often making patients urinate more often. In 1982 they were prescribed in 56 percent of the cases of high blood pressure treated by drugs, but in 1992 they were prescribed in only 27 percent of the cases.

    "Many of the newer drugs were approved because they reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease compared with a placebo. But they were not tested against each other," L'Enfant said. "Yet these more costly medications were often promoted as having advantages over older drugs, which contributed to the rapid escalation of their use."

    L'Enfant, whose institute sponsored the trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (news - web sites), said the findings were good news for patients and insurers. Between 1982 and 1992, patients and insurers could have saved an estimated $3.1 billion treating high blood pressure if they had stuck with diuretics instead of flocking to use the new drugs.

    Fifty million Americans, and 200 million to 300 million people worldwide, have high blood pressure, which is the No. 1 risk factor for heart disease and heart failure.


    About 24 million Americans take drugs to lower their blood pressure, at an estimated cost of $15.5 billion a year. Dr. Barry Davis of the University of Texas said diuretics cost between 6 cents and 10 cents a day, compared to $1.60 for a beta-blocker and up to $1.46 a day for an ACE inhibitor.

    The trial, which included white, black and Hispanic men and women, separated patients into three groups. They received either the diuretic chlorthalidone, which is available generically; the calcium channel blocker or beta-blocker amlodipine, sold by Pfizer Inc. as Norvasc; or the ACE inhibitor lisinopril, sold by AstraZeneca as Zestoretic.

    All the drugs lowered blood pressure and reduced the risk of heart attack and other "events" such as severe chest pain. "In head-to-head comparisons, the diuretics were shown to be superior in lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular events," L'Enfant said.

    Experts said no one taking blood pressure drugs should change what he or she is doing without consulting a doctor.

    "Those who are now on a calcium channel blocker or an ACE inhibitor or another hypertension drug besides a diuretic should not stop taking their medication," said Dr. Paul Whelton of Tulane University in New Orleans, one of the researchers.

    "But they should certainly talk with their doctor about adding or switching to a diuretic for their treatment."

    The study included a comparison of Bristol-Myer Squibb's cholesterol lowering drug Pravachol, known generically as pravastatin, to "best" treatment for high cholesterol.

    Researchers said the results were unclear but supported the idea that patients with high blood cholesterol should diet, exercise and, if necessary, take drugs, including statins such as Pravachol, to control levels.

    A low-salt, low-fat diet and exercise is also the first line of treatment for high blood pressure.

  2. little

    little Member

    I was on ATENOLOL- HCTZ ( water pill) for a couple of years for high blood pressure. Last Febuary I asked the doctor if I could stop HCTZ. She said ok. I went to she her last month. My blood pressure went from 130/76 to 158/110. She said that I had to go back on the HCTZ. I went to see her this morning for a follow up. My blood pressure was 130/80. She said that I had to stay on the HCTZ. She said that it helps elimitatimg all the excess water in my vessals. She said that with pressure that high, that could be the reason for most of my headaches. What the doctor told me today, that goes alone with your artical says. THANK YOU FOR PRINTING IT. GAIL
    PS. ATENOLOL COST ME $10.58 PER MONTH [This Message was Edited on 12/19/2002]
  3. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Know there are others here with High Blood Pressure...and the board is moving fast today....I am seriously thinking about giving the diuretics a try. Thought others might be interested.
  4. jolly

    jolly New Member

    I read this article in the newspaper and wondered if you have to have a prescription for the diuretics or can you buy them over the counter? Jo Ellen
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Refresh my poor broken memory, aren't you considering the low-carb diet? Completely avoiding anything made with flour, sugar, white rice and high-glycemic fruits and fruit juices brought my BP from high/normal to low/normal in 8 days on the diet. If you're going to try the diet, you may want to wait on the diuretics to see whether the diet alone will help. Drink lots of water as the diet itself seems to have a diuretic effect.

    Love, Mikie
  6. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    I am, I am....it's so hard----
    I have made some improvement, honest I have....but I am not there, yet. They call to me in my sleep...

    I am also trying to implement the water----gawd, I feel like I am drowning, lol, using the lime that Klutzo recommended in it!

    It took me 45 years to cultivate this habits, lol, geez this is hard. Necessary though, as I have now gained 30 lbs. since the onset of this..in May (am I endanger of exploding, girl? lol)

    I keep reading you and Klutzo's notes back and forth, though, and you two are spurring me on!!!
    Keep harping at me, I need it!
    Hugs, Karen
  7. sofy

    sofy New Member

    Those who are already on the water pills do you have to pee everyhour or does that get under control. I eat a very low sodium diet. I was peeing every hour and several times at night up till a few months ago. Went on 3 wks of doxycycline, added magnesium and something else (cant remember). It all just turned around. Dont know what happened. I now sleep like a log and pee like a normal person. The better sleep has made my brain function a little better but the eds is still bad. Go figure. Im definately going to ask the dr about this next time i go. this is why i keep coming to this board because of this kind of sharing of info. Never know what little thing might help who. Thanks for being so dilligent.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    People with FMS seem to have frequent need to urinate as a symptom by itself.

    Karen, it is difficult and I'm not pretending it isn't. I have lost most of my cravings for sweets because the fats are so satisfying. I've just been too tired lately to prepare tasty protein meals. I have a lot of energy, but then I try to do things which have gone to hell in a handbasket around here and I get too tired to cook. I'm still learning to try to manage my energy level.

    Hang in there, Sweetie. In the end, it's worth it. I had gained 40 pounds from the Elavil and Flexeril. Damned docs never told me about this side effect. Actually, they probably don't even know about it themselves. I'm sure the pharaceutical whores don't mention that when hyping their drugs to the docs. Lordy, I do sound angry. Something else to work on :)

    Love, Mikie
  9. Grams

    Grams New Member

    I've taken a diuretic, in addition to other BP meds, for 25+ years. I've moved and changed doctors and BP meds several times. When a new doctor doesn't order a diuretic, the other BP meds are not enough. I just tell the doctor to add a diuretic and the numbers will improve. No matter what, or how much I take, I have to have a diuretic to achieve anything near normal. I currently take Atacand, Norvasc, and HCTZ.

    I also tend to run a very low potassium, so I am always on a potassium replacement. Pre op blood work once showed a potassium of 2.7, the doctor was shocked and I was too! I had to drink lots of icky potassium replacement and have the level checked again before surgery could be done.

    For about the first three hours in the AM, I pee a lot because of the diuretic. It happens every day. Someone mentioned frequent voiding at night....you might want to get a blood sugar checked since freq voiding during the night (as well as the day) is a symptom of diabetes.