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Doctors Find 25% of Hypertension Patients Not Taking Medications as Prescribed

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Doctors Struggle to Get Patients’ Hypertension Under Control

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious problem in the U.S. with 1 in 4 adults affected by the condition.  High blood pressure results when the force of the blood pushes too hard against the artery walls as the heart pumps.  If this pressure stays high over time, it can result in coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems.  Doctors have struggled to figure out whey it seems it is so difficult to get patients’ hypertension under control, with the realization that other factors besides medications come into play when treating the problem.  However, a new study may have revealed why medications aimed at lowering blood pressure aren’t working as well as they should.

1 in 4 Patients Not Taking Their Hypertension Medications

Dr. Maciej Tomaszewski and colleagues wanted to know why some of their hypertension patients seemed “drug resistant” to blood pressure lowering medications.  To investigate the problem, they analyzed urine samples from 208 patients and found that 25% did  not take their medication as prescribed.  Furthermore, 10% didn’t take their medication at all and 15% took the drugs less often than they should.  Patients with hypertension in the study who did not take their medication as prescribed had higher blood pressure readings, putting them at a greater risk of serious health problems compared to patients who did take their medication as prescribed.

Use These Reminders to Remember to Take Your Medication 

If you’re someone who suffers from hypertension, doctors stress that it is crucial that you take your medications as prescribed.  Yes, it is also important to eat healthy and exercise to reduce your risk but for those suffering from critically high blood pressure, medications are vital.  Doctors call those who don’t take their medications as prescribed “undertakers”, “non-compliant” or “non-adherent”.  Don’t be one of these patients, it puts your health at risk and makes it more difficult for your doctor to do their job.  You can remember to take your blood pressure medications by using the following tips:

  • involve your partner–ask your spouse to remind you
  • monitor your blood pressure at home–you can clearly see the benefits of taking your medication this way
  • count the number of pills left in the bottle–you’ll be able to see if you’re taking your pills on time
  • set up text message alerts or an alarm–to remind you to take your medication
  • invest in a medical watch–they help to remind you to take your pills, as well as the correct dosage
  • try an automatic pill dispenser–these gadgets keep up to 14 days of medication and dispense them into a cup at the correct times
  • look into an electronic pill timer bottle caps–another handy gadget that you put in place of the regular cap on your medication.  It includes an alarm to remind you to take your medication, as well as a “last opened” time stamp showing the last day and time you took the medication.