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Can Drugmakers Buy Doctors' Loyalty With Cheap Meals?

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Doctors who accept free meals from drug companies are more likely to prescribe the brand-name drugs those companies sell, a new study suggests. Physicians who received just one free meal, valued at less than $20 on average, were up to two times more likely to prescribe a promoted brand-name drug than a cheaper generic alternative, compared with doctors who did not accept a meal, the study found. Doctors who received multiple meals were up to three times more likely to prescribe these drugs. "To my surprise, tiny, tiny payments are associated with big differences in prescribing," said study author Colette DeJong, a research fellow at University of California San Francisco's (UCSF) Center for Healthcare Value. Additional meals and pricier fare were linked with even higher prescribing rates of the promoted drug. "So whether you get zero, one, two, three or four ... Read more

Related support groups: Pristiq, Benicar, Crestor, Bystolic, Azor, Benicar HCT, Rosuvastatin, Nebivolol, Olmesartan, Desvenlafaxine, Tribenzor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Byvalson, Khedezla, Nebivolol/valsartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan

Physically Demanding Job, High Blood Pressure a Bad Mix for Women

Posted 15 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 – Having a physically demanding job and high blood pressure may triple a woman's risk of heart disease, a new study contends. Researchers looked at more than 12,000 female nurses in Denmark, and found that those with high blood pressure and highly active jobs were much more likely to develop heart disease than those with normal blood pressure and moderately active jobs. "Previous research has shown that men and women with physically demanding jobs have an increased risk of heart disease," said study author Karen Allesoe, a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark. "The two risk factors appear to work together, resulting in an even greater incidence of heart disease," Allesoe said. "To our knowledge, this has not been shown before among women." However, the study only showed an association for heart disease risk, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Ramipril, Cozaar, Micardis, Enalapril, Valsartan, Benazepril, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Avapro, Atacand, Diovan HCT, Irbesartan, Hyzaar

More Support for Lower Blood Pressure Goals

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Intensive treatment to lower blood pressure below currently recommended levels reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, a new study shows. Effective blood pressure goals have been the subject of much recent scientific debate, with another recent study also supporting lower targets. For this study, researchers analyzed data from 19 clinical trials that included nearly 45,000 people. They wanted to assess the potential benefits and safety of pushing systolic blood pressure in high-risk patients below the current target of 140. Systolic is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Compared to those who received standard treatment, average systolic pressure was 6.8 lower and diastolic blood pressure was 4.5 lower in patients who received more intensive treatment – 133.2/76.4 ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Hydrochlorothiazide, Propranolol, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Renal Failure, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Enalapril, Benazepril, Inderal, Sotalol

Heart Disease Doesn't Take a Holiday

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People with heart disease should take a number of precautions if they travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, an expert suggests. The first step is to be as well-prepared on your trip as you are at home, said Dr. Winston Gandy Jr., a cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. "Make sure when you travel that you have your medicine," Gandy said in an American Heart Association news release. Some people carry a copy of their original prescriptions in case they lose their medications, but having a list of your medications and your cardiologist's phone number should be sufficient. It's also a good idea to tell your cardiologist where you'll be. "Chances are your cardiologist is going to know someone there, either personally or by reputation," who can provide you with help if needed, Gandy said. Research medical facilities at your destination, and know what ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Niacin, Niaspan, Zocor, Azor, Exforge, Lovastatin, Benicar HCT, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Rosuvastatin, Lotrel, Avalide, Pravachol, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Livalo

Younger Women Less Likely to Take Meds After Heart Attack

Posted 13 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2015 – Younger women who've had a heart attack are less likely than men to be taking the appropriate heart medications one year later, new Canadian research shows. These findings underscore previous studies that show fewer women take these drugs than men. Researchers said this discrepancy has important implications for how doctors approach treatment for younger women who've had a heart attack. "The gender gap in treatment initiation among younger women is an important finding because younger women have much worse outcomes after suffering a heart attack than do men of the same age," said study co-author Karin Humphries, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. "This finding suggests that younger women should be treated aggressively, especially when we have medications that work," Humphries added in a news release from ... Read more

Related support groups: Metoprolol, Atenolol, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Zocor, Azor, Sotalol, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Lovastatin

Confirm High Blood Pressure Outside Doctor's Office, U.S. Task Force Says

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – High blood pressure levels should generally be confirmed with home or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring before starting treatment for hypertension, a new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation says. Many factors can affect blood pressure readings, such as stress, physical activity and caffeine or nicotine, the USPSTF said. And, some people experience "white-coat hypertension" – an increase in blood pressure at the doctor's office from stress – when having their blood pressure taken. All of these factors can make it hard to tell if someone really has high blood pressure, the researchers said. That's why the Task Force recommends confirming a diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, before starting treatment, unless someone has very high blood pressure that needs to be treated right away. "For most patients, elevated blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Propranolol, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Diovan HCT, Timolol, Hyzaar, Lotrel

Health Tip: Controlling Blood Pressure

Posted 16 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

-- If you've got high blood pressure, you must work with your doctor to help keep it under control. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends: Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and stay at a healthy body weight. Take all of your medications as prescribed. Don't skip pills or let a prescription run out. Follow your doctor's orders for checkups and tests. Learn to check your blood pressure at home. Log your pressure readings in a journal. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Bystolic, Bisoprolol, Azor, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Tenormin, Avalide, Metoprolol Succinate ER, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide, Nebivolol

Including Pharmacist on Medical Team May Aid Blood Pressure Control

Posted 7 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 – Pharmacists can play an important role in helping patients control high blood pressure, a new study finds. Researchers followed 625 racially and ethnically diverse Americans with uncontrolled high blood pressure who were seen at 32 medical offices in 15 states. The patients were either cared for by a doctor only, or by a medical team that included a pharmacist. "Clinical pharmacists were able to contribute to the care team by tailoring blood pressure medications for each patient and spent extra time educating patients on how to decrease their blood pressure," study corresponding author Tyler Gums, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, said in a university news release. High blood pressure increases the likelihood of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death for Americans, the study authors noted. The ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Azor, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Intraocular Hypertension, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide, Dyazide, Micardis HCT, Ziac, Amlodipine/Benazepril, Tarka, Edarbyclor, Zestoretic, Twynsta

Big Swings in Blood Pressure Could Spell Trouble

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – Wide blood pressure fluctuations may signal an increased risk of heart disease and early death, researchers say. The large study of people taking blood pressure medication found that variations of more than 14 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure readings between doctor visits was linked to a 25 percent increased risk of heart failure. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. "Patients should have their blood pressure controlled," said lead researcher Paul Muntner, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama School of Public Health at Birmingham. "They should be aware that their blood pressure changes, and if there is a lot of variation, they might want to talk with their doctor about why it's changing." These variations may be a sign of increasing damage to the arteries, particularly stiffening, Muntner said. About one in ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Azor, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide, Dyazide, Tribenzor, Micardis HCT, Caduet, Ziac, Tarka, Amlodipine/Benazepril, Zestoretic, Edarbyclor

Blood Pressure Meds Lower Heart, Stroke Risks in Diabetics: Analysis

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – A new analysis shows that people with type 2 diabetes are less likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes or die early when they take blood pressure medications – even if they don't actually have high blood pressure. "Stroke, heart attack and other circulatory diseases are the biggest cause of premature death and disability in people with diabetes," said review author Dr. Kazem Rahimi, deputy director with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in England. "Any intervention that safely reduces the risk, even if modestly, will have an important effect." According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. Diabetics tend to have higher blood pressure than other people, Rahimi said, and this can lead to health problems. It's clear that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Losartan, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Bystolic, Norvasc, Carvedilol, Verapamil, Ramipril, Bisoprolol

FDA Medwatch Alert: Olmesartan: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Review Finds Cardiovascular Risks for Diabetics Not Conclusive

Posted 24 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

Includes: Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and Generics [Posted 06/24/2014] ISSUE: FDA has completed its safety review and has found no clear evidence of increased cardiovascular risks associated with use of the blood pressure medication olmesartan in diabetic patients (see previous alerts linked below). FDA believes the benefits of olmesartan in patients with high blood pressure continue to outweigh the potential risks. BACKGROUND: FDA safety review was prompted by the results of the ROADMAP trial. The ROADMAP (Randomized Olmesartan and Diabetes Microalbuminuria Prevention) clinical trial examined the effects of olmesartan in patients with type 2 diabetes, to see whether olmesartan could delay kidney damage. There was an unexpected finding of increased risk of cardiovascular death in the olmesartan group compared to the group taking a placebo, or sugar pill. However, the risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan

FDA Medwatch Alert: Olmesartan Medoxomil: Drug Safety Communication - Label Changes To Include Intestinal Problems (Sprue-Like Enteropathy)

Posted 3 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning that the blood pressure drug Olmesartan Medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. FDA has approved changes to the labels of these drugs to include this concern. Sprue-like enteropathy has not been detected with ARB drugs other than olmesartan.  FDA will continue to evaluate the safety of olmesartan-containing products and will communicate again if additional information becomes available. BACKGROUND: Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, alone or with other antihypertensive agents, and is one of eight marketed ARB drugs.  RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should tell patients to contact t ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan, Amlodipine/Olmesartan

Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study

Posted 4 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 4 – Taking too many medications at the same time could lead to repeated fainting episodes, a new study reveals. "Simply stated, the more antihypertensive pills a patient takes, the greater the likelihood of a possible fainting spell under certain circumstances," explained one cardiologist, Dr. David Friedman, chief of Heart Failure Services at North Shore-LIJ's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. He was not involved in the new research. In the study, Danish researchers led by Dr. Martin Ruwald of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte looked at more than 127,000 patients, median age 64, who were hospitalized for fainting between 1997 and 2009. Of those patients, more than one-fifth had experienced at least two fainting episodes. The researchers found that the risk of repeat fainting rose with the number of medications that patients were taking at the same time. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Losartan, Hydrochlorothiazide, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Bystolic, Spironolactone, Lasix, Norvasc, Verapamil, Furosemide, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Cozaar, Nifedipine, Micardis

Effects of High Blood Pressure Drug May Mimic Celiac Disease

Posted 22 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 22 – A new report suggests that the common blood pressure drug olmesartan (Benicar) can cause symptoms that mimic celiac disease, leading to misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment. It's not clear how often people who take the blood pressure-lowering drug will develop the gastrointestinal problems that are similar to those caused by celiac disease. For the moment, though, the side effects appear to be unusual, said Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical School, who was not involved with the study. Still, Green noted, his center has seen patients who developed celiac disease-like symptoms while taking olmesartan and some have been quite ill. "One went into kidney failure and needed dialysis," he said. According to the new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., 22 patients – aged 47 to 81, average age 70 – had symptoms ... Read more

Related support groups: Benicar, Azor, Benicar HCT, Olmesartan, Tribenzor, Amlodipine/Olmesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide/Olmesartan, Amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide/olmesartan

U.S. Task Force Issues Blood Pressure Guidelines

Posted 15 May 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 15 – "Team-based care" should be used to improve patients' blood pressure control, the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended on Tuesday. The recommendation is based on a review of 77 studies that showed improvements in patients' control of blood pressure when they received care from a team of health professionals – a primary care doctor supported by a pharmacist, nurse, dietitian, social worker, or community health worker – rather than a primary care doctor alone. The task force found that team-based care increased the percentage of patients with controlled blood pressure, led to a decrease in both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure, and improved results in patients with diabetes and elevated levels of blood fats. Team members assist primary care doctors by providing support and sharing responsibility for high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Losartan, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Bystolic, Norvasc, Carvedilol, Verapamil, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Cozaar, Coreg, Nifedipine

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