Hospitals May Overprescribe Blood Pressure Meds, Study Finds

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THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — One in seven older veterans are sent home from the hospital with doses of blood pressure medications so high they can leave them feeling dizzy and at risk for falls, a new study finds.

Prescribing higher doses of these drugs occurs even though half of the patients had their blood pressure controlled with lower doses before they went to the hospital, the researchers said.

“Our results show evidence that doctors are treating inpatient blood pressures aggressively, despite there being no evidence to suggest this is beneficial,” said lead author Dr. Timothy Anderson. He is a primary care research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

“As there are no guidelines for physicians on how to manage inpatient blood pressures, it appears physicians are applying outpatient blood pressure targets to the inpatient setting,” Anderson said in a university news release.

“Because hospitalized older adults are particularly vulnerable to medication harms, this may be quite risky,” he added.

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