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Compliance To Antihypertensive Agents


 Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure, with systolic pressure 140-200mmHg or more and diastolic pressure 90-110mmHg or more. Adherence (compliance) to antihypertensive agent is to obey the instructions and advice given by health professionals related to your antihypertensive medications.

Selection of Antihypertensive Agents

There are various types of medications that can be use in the treatment of hypertension, such as beta blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-II receptor blockers, diuretics and some other types of antihypertensive agents. To learn more about the types of medications, how they work and also side effects that might occur, you can get the reading material here.

Different patient may responds differently to the antihypertensive agents. Your doctor may need to try more than one medication that works best for you. In some cases, you may need to take a combination of two or three types of medications to lower your blood pressure. Do not share your antihypertensive agents with others.

From time to time, your doctor may increase the dose, switch to a different medication, or add other medications to keep your blood pressure under control.

Why Should Comply With Antihypertensive Agents?

The main objective of hypertension treatment is to lower the blood pressure. In addition, it also aims to protect vital organs such as the brain, eyes, heart and kidneys.

Antihypertensive medication should be taken on a daily basis. You cannot stop taking the medication even if your blood pressure has returned to normal or you feel healthy, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

Hypertension is not a problem that can be treated and then ignored. It is a condition that needs attention for a lifetime. There are some tips to control blood pressure, including:

  • Taking antihypertensive medication as directed. If side effects or financial implications become a source of problems, do not stop taking your medications. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about the options available.
  • Adhere to the appointments schedule to visit your doctor. Always consult with your doctor during follow-up treatment to make sure your blood pressure is under controlled.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet with preferred fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat foods. Try to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Reducing excess weight.
  • Managing stress effectively.

 What Are The Risks That Might Be Encountered If Not Comply With Antihypertensive Medication?

Normally, hypertension has no symptoms or warning signs. You can have hypertension for years without feeling sick or unwell. In fact, hypertension is often considered as a ‘silent killer’, because most people do not experience any symptoms until it has become serious. Accordingly, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly. Although you may feel healthy and have no symptoms but eventually if not controlled, hypertension can leads to more serious health problems such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Blind
  • Heart attack and stroke are the leading causes of death in Malaysia.

Important Information Regarding Antihypertensive Medication

  • Take note the name of your medication, dosage and how it works. If you have any doubts, consult with your doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop taking your medication or change the dose of your medicines unless directed by your doctor.
  • If you have forgotten or missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your schedule. Do not double the dose to replace the missed dose.
  • Compliance with antihypertensive medications is very important to get the expected benefits. Not comply with the medication will result in treatment failure.
  • Most people with hypertension do not experience any symptoms. This makes it difficult for patients to see the benefits gained through ongoing treatment of antihypertensive medication.
  • Take medications as directed by your doctor even if you feel healthy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist, and inform them if you have any side effects of taking these medications so that the most appropriate hypertension treatment can be given to control your illness.


  1. Clinical Practice Guidelines by Ministry Of Health Malaysia: Management of Hypertension (4th Edition)
  2. Heart Foundation: Living well with heart disease. Retrieve from http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/Pages/Living-well-with-heart-disease.aspx
  3. Mayoclinic: Diseases and ConditionsHigh Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Retrieve from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580
  4. Mayoclinic: Diseases and ConditionsHigh Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Retrieve from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/coping-support/con-20019580
  5. National Prescribing Service: Taking medicines for high blood pressure. Retrieve from http://www.nps.org.au/publications/consumer/medicines-talk/2009/medicinestalk-no-32-summer-2009/taking-medicines-for-high-blood-pressure
  6. Portal MyHealth. Antihipertensif. Retrieve from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/index.php/my/component/content/article/57-fakta-ubat/410-antihipertensif
  7. Portal MyHealth. Kepatuhan Kepada Ubat Anda. Retrieve from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/index.php/my/ubat-a-anda/umum/kepatuhan-kepada-ubat-anda
  8. WebMD: An Overview of High Blood Pressure Treatment. Retrieve from http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-treatment-overview
Last Reviewed : 25 November 2015
Writer/Translator : Atika Mahfuza Mahbub
Reviewer : Che Pun bt. Bujang