NYMC Faculty Publications

Are Two Drugs Better Than One? A Review of Combination Therapies for Hypertension

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Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy

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INTRODUCTION: Current guidelines for pharmacotherapy briefly describe a role for combination antihypertensive therapy. However, guidance on whether combination therapy should be used at the time of initiating therapy or as add on, and the choice of combination therapy is scarce. Areas covered: Current literature suggests that intensive blood pressure control is the key to managing cardiovascular risk. Along with lifestyle management, pharmacotherapy is an central component in the treatment of hypertension. Here, we aim to review the pathophysiology of hypertension, rationale for using combination therapy, and the different combinations of antihypertensive drug classes that are available in the market. Papers from 1967 through 2016 listed on PubMed on this topic were reviewed. Expert opinion: Based on the review of the literature, combination antihypertensive therapies are more effective than monotherapy and are also well tolerated, safe and cost effective for treatment of hypertension. Further research is needed to help guide the choice of combination antihypertensive therapy in different patient populations based on age, gender, race and comorbidities.