NEW ORLEANS — Approximately 25% to 30% of the population does not consistently follow their high BP medication regimen, Barry L. Carter, PharmD, of the college of pharmacy and department of family medicine at the University of Iowa told Healio Family Medicine.
Skipping medications is either unintentional, when the patient forgot and can be encouraged to take the medication along with other daily tasks — or intentional, when the patient cannot afford the medication or does not see the importance of taking it. In these latter instances, motivational interviewing and extensive patient education is needed. Other strategies such as self-reporting, pill counts, and claims data to improve the BP medication adherence have varying levels of effectiveness and limitations, he said.
Carter added the evidence is unclear if educating patients about the adverse events tied to BP medication before they began such therapies would increase adherence, because there has been no research on this topic.
“We know that educational strategies can improve [BP] about 2 to 4 millimeters of mercury, and some studies and meta-analysis have been as high as 7 to 8 millimeters of mercury. But that does not really address the question of did it improve adherence, but it was likely a factor in improving blood pressure control. When just addressing the issue of side effects however, we really don’t know the answer to that. My guess would be … a 2 to 3 millimeter of mercury if we just assess side effects alone,” Carter continued.
He also talked about strategies for identifying patients who are not adhering to their BP medications and whether combination therapies are effective.
Disclosure: Carter reports receiving research grants and contracts from NIH.