Thursday, June 16, 2011

Patient called me with a blood pressure of 170

He has resistant hypertension that has been well controlled since we added spironolactone. He reported that his systolic blood pressures were between 170 and 205 over the last three hours. In the morning his blood pressure was 120 and for the last week he had been getting blood pressures of 115 to 135, trending toward the lower end of that range.

I told him that I wasn't worried about the isolated spike in blood pressure. The goal of therapy is to get the average blood pressure down and that chasing individual isolated episodes of hypertension becomes a hopeless game of whack-a-mole.

The treatment of hypertension is like trying to change the climate, not control the weather.

What do you do when they get this phone call? Do you chase after elevated blood pressures with prn clonidine? Is there an evidence based approach to this?
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