A professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine with the Imperial College, London, Neil Poulter, has recommended combination therapy for the management of hypertension.
Combination therapy, according to the expert, is a treatment intervention in which more than one drug is administered to the patient. It involves administering several separate pills, each containing a particular drug or single pills that contain several drugs.
Poulter, who is the immediate past president, International Society of Hypertension, made the call on Friday in Lagos while speaking at a symposium titled, ‘Latest Development in Hypertension: A Nigerian Perspective.’
The symposium, organised by Servier, an international pharmaceutical company, was held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
Poulter said new research had confirmed that combination therapy was more effective in the management of hypertension than monotherapy, which is the treatment of a patient with a single drug.
In his presentation titled, ‘Advances in the Management of Hypertension in African Hypertensive Patients’, Poulter said it was better to start the treatment of hypertension with two drugs, as it guarantees better outcomes compared to when single drugs are used.
He told medical experts that instead of moving a patient from Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors to Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers due to the side effect of dry cough, the side effect could be treated separately, adding that researchers had found that ACE-i works better than ARBs.
Among those at the symposium were Director, Lagos State Medical Administration and Training, Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi; Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, Prof Adetokunbo Fabamwo; Prof Adebowale Adekoya; Provost, College of Medicine, Dr. Mobolaji Oludara; and Group Manager, Servier Nigeria, Mr. Mohamad Tamim.
Also speaking at the event, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who was represented by the CMD of LASUTH, Fabamwo, said the state was committed to reducing the burden of hypertension through regular mass screening at the local governments.
Abayomi added that the state also recently established a special stroke unit, acquired a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation lab and also purchased an ultra-modern dialysis unit for LASUTH.
A consultant physician with LASUTH, Dr. Sunday Ogundele, stated that men had a higher risk of suffering hypertension than women.
“As we grow older, the tendency that we will become hypertensive is much higher,” he added.
On hypertension diagnosis, Ogundele submitted, “We note that when patients come to the hospital, their blood pressure is usually higher than what it is normally; so home measuring of blood pressure is preferred.
“But if you have to use the office blood pressure level, the scale for saying a patient is hypertensive is slightly higher.”
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