Background: The short-term safety of and blood pressure changes after withdrawing hypertension treatment in older adults in preparation for clinical trials have not been well established. Methods: Participants were enrolled in a clinical trial and antihypertensive medications were tapered over 3 weeks (week 1: reduction by 25%-50%; week 2: 50%-75%, week 3: off). Blood pressure was measured at the initial visit and after stopping all antihypertensive therapy (personnel) and twice a day during the taper phase (provided monitor). Trend analyses and linear models were used to assess changes in blood pressure. Results: All participants (n = 53, mean age = 71 years, total of 1158 readings) successfully tapered their medications with no symptoms. Only 2% of the readings exceeded 180/100 mm Hg, but none were consecutive. Blood pressure gradually increased with an overall increase of 12/6 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval (4/1, 21/11). The daily increase in blood pressure was 0.2 mm Hg (standard error = 0.1) in both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were comparable for all antihypertensive classes (P >.05 for all). Conclusion: Short-term (<3-4 weeks) withdrawal of antihypertensive therapy in older adults with hypertension is safe and is associated with mild increases in blood pressure.
- Antihypertensive withdrawal
- older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine