Research Article

Reasons for failure of antihypertensive treatment.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 18 June 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1956
  1. O Ogunyemi


    One hundred patients whose hypertension was originally well controlled were carefully screened when a routine clinic visit showed that their blood pressure was above 170/100 mm Hg. Simple misconceptions accounted for 75 failures: 38 did not know they had to continue their drugs, 14 thought they should not take antihypertensive drugs if they had not had a meal, 13 did not know which drugs controlled their blood pressure, and 10 believed it was better not to take their drugs on clinic days. Eleven patients were using racemic alpha-methyldopa, which was ineffective; 11 others said they could not afford the drugs; only three intentionally stopped their drugs because of unpleasant side effects. Patients need to be thoroughly informed about their treatment and the number of drugs kept to a minimum.