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American family physician

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists in the treatment of hypertension.


PMID 10507747

Abstract

The sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-VI) includes recommendations for the assessment of overall cardiovascular risk and the need for active antihypertensive drug therapy. Once the decision to initiate antihypertensive drug therapy has been made, JNC-VI recommends one of three paths for the choice of initial therapy: one path for patients with uncomplicated hypertension, another for those with well-defined indications for certain drugs and a third path for patients with various concomitant conditions in which one or another drug has favorable effects. At this time, the place for the newest class of antihypertensive drugs, the angiotensin II receptor antagonists, remains uncertain. Currently, they are considered reasonable alternatives for patients who have a compelling need for an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor but develop a cough while taking this medication. When data from ongoing trials become available, angiotensin II receptor antagonists may prove to be a good choice for initial therapy in many patients because of the favorable side effect profile of this class of drugs.

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