Q: Are diuretics presently prescribed as frequently in the treatment of hypertension as in the past? What other classes of medications are frequently prescribed?
A: Diuretics are not as popularly prescribed, which is probably due more to the fact that they are no longer under patent, so the pharmaceutical companies don't make as much money from them. But they are still the number-one choice for many physicians. Even if they don't work on their own completely, diuretics can be added to just about any other class of medication. The combination is more effective than either drug alone, so diuretics are still an extremely important class of medication.
Axe, i have always heard that diuretics were a good start for bp meds and they're inexpensive too. I read an article awhile back that suggested drs start the patient on diuretics first and then an ace inhibitor.
However, i think alot of patients bulk at the thought of 'water pills' being taken. Alot of my older friends advised me to not take the hctz when it was first prescribe to me, but i trusted my dr. I no longer take hctz on a regular basis.
This is one case where I have to agree with the doctors. I don't believe that we should be putting everyone on diuretics. Even from that same ALLHAT study that recommended diuretics, it also found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 40% higher with diuretic therapy than with ACE inhibitor therapy.
As a younger person, why would you want to sacrifice the quality of your future life over $$$? There are much better alternatives.
Also, if it's all about $'s, then why is atenolol prescribed so frequently? It's dirt cheap. In fact, it's only marginally more expensive than HCTZ. And, a doctor certainly isn't receiving any kickbacks on this one.
You make some good points Palamedes. Why is Atenolol prescribed so frequently? I have no idea. If someone has a perfect EKG, why are beta-blockers the 1st choice when it seems that everyone that is taking ARB's have much less side-effects. Atenolol is terrible, as was Toprol for me at 100 MGS. My specialist friend said to wean back to 50 & when I see him, we'll wean some more until I can get off of this miserable drug. I have never seen anyone say anything positive about Atenolol, but have seen tons of positive feedback about the lack of side-effects from Diovan. If I had to be on one med., I would like to try Diovan.
I don't want to have increased glucose levels, because of a B/P med. I am convinced that being on Lotrel & Atenolol has played an effect on my glucose. I had a reading of 103. Not close to diabetes, but at 5' 11" 150 & I don't eat any sweets, it's kind of odd.