Medical Practice

Side Effects of Hypotensive Agents Evaluated by a Self-administered Questionnaire

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 01 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:485
  1. C. J. Bulpitt,
  2. C. T. Dollery


    A self-administered symptom questionnaire was completed by 477 patients in a hypertension clinic. The complaints of the patients were analysed according to the type of therapy being given and the dose of drug taken. Methyldopa therapy was associated with sleepiness, weakness of the limbs, sleeping longer at night, and rising more frequently at night to pass urine. Diarrhoea, impotence, failure of ejaculation, blurred vision, depression, and the symptoms of postural hypotension were not related to methyldopa therapy. Bethanidine administration was related to postural hypotension, impotence, and failure of ejaculation but not to weakness of the limbs, blurred vision, depression, or diarrhoea. Patients receiving guanethidine complained of postural hypotension, failure of ejaculation, and had their bowels open more frequently. Similarly, patients receiving propranolol had an increased frequency of defaecation but also tended to complain of weakness of the limbs.

    Considering each drug individually, 5% of patients failed to take the prescribed dose of diuretic whereas

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