A change in medication can benefit patients on blood pressure-lowering therapies significantly more than increasing the dose of their current medication. A recent study from Uppsala University that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates this (JAMA).

In this study, four different blood pressure-lowering medications were tested out on 280 individuals over the course of a year. Around two million Swedes currently have high blood pressure, which is a condition that the majority of Swedes get sooner or later. Just a fifth of them have successfully used medicine to lower their blood pressure, and other studies indicate that only 50% of them take their blood pressure medication as prescribed. Could it be that the effectiveness and side effects how do the medications vary from person to person?

Given the wide variety of blood pressure medications available, there is a significant danger that patients won’t initially be prescribed the best medication, which could lead to subpar blood pressure lowering and unwanted side effects.

A recent investigation at Uppsala University looked into the possibility of individualized blood pressure treatment and whether there is a best blood pressure medication for each person. There were 280 patients in the research. During the course of a year, each of these people tested four different blood pressure medications, one after the other, at various periods. The researchers observed that the treatment’s impact varied greatly from patient to patient and that it was evident that some one medicine resulted in lower blood pressure than another.

The results of the study cast doubt on the approach advocated in current treatment recommendations, which strongly advise all patients with high blood pressure to take four pharmacological groups.