The major advances in pharmacologic treatment of hypertension are (1) the vasodilator-β-blocker combination,1-4 (2) the classification of "essential" hypertensives into renin subgroups,5 and (3) treatment with antihypertensive agents that have been approved by the FDA in recent years. These include propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal) clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres), diazoxide (Hyperstat), and prazosin hydrochloride (Minipress).
The keys to success in chronic management of most hypertensive patients are (1) patient motivation, (2) minimal side effects, (3) simplicity of regimens, and (4) efficacy. The first three are important in achieving compliance and involve the physician and his associate staff, as well as the patient. Minimizing side effects is one of the major goals in the pharmacologic control of high blood pressure. Most investigators with experience using the vasodilatory β-blocker combination are impressed with its relative lack of side effects. This freedom from side effects, coupled with a high level of efficacy, even in