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Requirement to include a medicine for hypertension in the medicine basket

Since hypertension is the leading risk factor for stroke, and the risk of stroke increases the longer a person suffers from this problem - the main prevention is focused on its detection and treatment, usually with medication and lifestyle changes.

The "Eretz" Danit Nitzan

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For most of those who suffer from hypertension, the cause is unknown, but concomitant diseases such as diabetes, a high level of blood fats and especially cholesterol - are risk factors that affect the complications of hypertension. There are also environmental-behavioral factors, for example smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high mental stress, incorrect use of certain medications.

Those who suffer from high blood pressure receive recommendations that try to influence the environmental-behavioral factors and usually drug treatment as well.
The types of treatment are:

* Beta blockers: drugs that work by blocking the effect of adrenaline on the heart by blocking beta receptors. Thus the heart's ability to contract decreases, its activity slows down and the blood pressure drops.

* Alpha blockers: drugs that block alpha receptors and thus expand blood vessels, improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. They also improve the lipid profile in the blood.

* Calcium channel blockers: drugs that block the entry of calcium into the heart muscle cells and blood vessels. Calcium is essential for the contraction of these muscles, therefore preventing its entry into the cells leads to dilation of blood vessels and a decrease in blood pressure.

* ACE inhibitors: drugs that act on the ACE enzyme responsible for the production of the hormone angiotensin 2, which contracts the heart muscle and blood vessels. This way they dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

* Angiotensin receptor blockers: 2 drugs that block the receptor that mediates the activity of the hormone angiotensin-2, the same hormone that causes an increase in blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels can also cause damage to the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. Therefore blocking its activity also protects these organs.

The drug Oxaar belongs to the group of angiotensin 2 receptor blockers. A study published in 2001 in the scientific journal "Lancet" showed that the effectiveness of reducing blood pressure with Oxaar is the same as the effectiveness of other drugs from the beta blocker group. However, the study also found that treatment with Oxaar in patients with hypertension along with enlargement of the left ventricle in the heart is 25% more effective than treatment with beta blockers, in terms of reducing the risk of stroke. We also see a 25% reduced risk of developing diabetes, compared to patients treated with beta-blockers.

According to Prof. Natan Bornstein, Oxaar is approved for use in Israel as a prescription drug for the treatment of hypertension, and it is indeed included in the drug basket - but only for patients suffering from diabetes who have tried an ACE inhibitor type drug and suffered side effects.

The association for help to stroke patients, together with the Naaman association, operated as part of the "Stroke Awareness Week" that took place in June. Throughout the country, 16 testing booths were set up and information leaflets were distributed, to encourage awareness of the possibility of stroke prevention and early detection, especially hypertension. The associations are also struggling to include the drug Oxaar in the basket of medicines for all patients with hypertension.

Danit Nitzan

They knew innovations in medicine
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