Optimal use of β-blockers in high-risk hypertension: A guide to dosing equivalence
Janet B McGill
Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Abstract: Hypertension is the number one diagnosis made by primary care physicians, placing them in a unique position to prescribe the antihypertensive agent best suited to the individual patient. In individuals with diabetes mellitus, blood pressure (BP) levels > 130/80 mmHg confer an even higher risk for cardiovascular and renal disease, and these patients will benefit from aggressive antihypertensive treatment using a combination of agents. β‑blockers are playing an increasingly important role in the management of hypertension in high-risk patients. β‑blockers are a heterogeneous class of agents, and this review presents the differences between β‑blockers and provides evidence-based protocols to assist in understanding dose equivalence in the selection of an optimal regimen in patients with complex needs. The clinical benefits provided by β‑blockers are only effective if patients adhere to medication treatment long term. β‑blockers with proven efficacy, once-daily dosing, and lower side effect profiles may become instrumental in the treatment of hypertensive diabetic and nondiabetic patients.
Keywords: antihypertensive, blood pressure, atenolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, nebivolol
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