PURPOSE: Patterns of antihypertensive drug use in patients undergoing long-term hemodialysis therapy were studied. METHODS: Patients attending seven outpatient hemodialysis units in Ohio were eligible for the study if they had been receiving the treatment for at least three months. Demographic and clinical data were obtained from patient interviews and computerized databases, and blood pressure (BP) measurements were obtained before dialysis. Labeled names and dosages of antihypertensive drugs were recorded from containers the patients brought with them. Patients were asked to describe their adherence to the medications, their ability to afford the drugs, and their knowledge and beliefs about hypertension. Physical impairments in taking medication were also evaluated. RESULTS: The frequency of hypertension was 89% in the 270 participants. Antihypertensive drugs were prescribed for 76% of the patients; 25% required three or more drugs. Hypertensive patients who were not receiving antihypertensive drugs (14%) had significantly higher BP than patients who were. Calcium-channel blockers were prescribed for 60% of patients, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors for 33%, and beta-blockers for 34%. Eighty-three percent said the cost of drugs was never a problem, and 23% said they sometimes forgot to take their medication. Almost all patients said they would not stop taking antihypertensive drugs if they were feeling better and agreed that monitoring BP was important. Twenty-two percent could not read the warning on a standard tablet container, and 12% could not remove one tablet from the container. CONCLUSION: Multidrug antihypertensive therapy was common among hemodialysis patients and was associated with significantly lower BP; calcium-channel blockers were the most frequently prescribed agents. Most patients said they could afford drugs and reported good adherence to antihypertensive drug therapy.
- Copyright © 2004 by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists