The drug test spurs frank to talk to patients with hypertension and doctors.


Studies show that many patients are reluctant to take their blood pressure medication, but don’t admit it to a doctor. Aegis Sciences now has equipment and tests that allow doctors to directly examine patients’ urine samples.
Blake Farmer/WPLN
The core of hypertension treatment is an irony. The disease itself usually does not have any symptoms, but the drugs that treat it – and later prevent strokes or heart attacks – can cause discomfort.
Nashville, Tennessee in the customer service representative Sharon Fulson, said: “not you don’t want to accept it, because you know that it will help you, but it is already used to it,” customer service representative from Nashville, Tennessee, Sharon Fulson said. And control her high blood pressure.
The daily pills she took last year made her feel dizzy. Others report dizziness, nausea and diarrhea, especially men, who may be in trouble and excitement.
“All these side effects are worse than high blood pressure,” Fulson said.
Studies show that although heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, about half of all patients should not take high blood pressure medications. For many unfortunate people, their first symptoms of hypertension are catastrophic heart events. This is why high blood pressure is called “silent killer”.
Now there is a drug test that can mark whether the patient actually took the prescription. Screening for urine samples means more real conversations between patients and doctors.
Forson’s blood pressure is a moving target, and when she shows me the way she usually checks in her home, it’s a little high.
“The radio could affect me,” she joked. Even in the doctor’s office, there is enough pressure to increase the results.
Sharon forson of Nashville, tenn., says she works hard to control her high blood pressure. But the medication that should be helpful will make her nervous and groggy, and she skipped a drug more than once.
This is why patients are under pressure – familiar cuff tests – and can’t confirm whether cardiologists continue to take high blood pressure medications. The new drug, KardiAssure, USES a computer to analyze urine for 80 blood pressure and cholesterol drugs and report results in just three minutes.
The test could only determine if the patient took the pill on the last day or two. But Aegis Sciences Corp. Frank Basile, the chief executive, says this is a starting point.
“What we give doctors is a tool that allows them to engage in very focused conversations with patients,” he said. He says doctors can only find the reasons behind the problem when it becomes public.
The lead author, Bryan Doherty, a cardiologist in Dickson, Tennessee, has been working on tests with Aegis. In one case, when the results showed that the patient was not taking his medication regularly, though he claimed that he was his, he soon admitted it.
“He immediately turned around and told me the cost was a problem,” says Doherty. “I think there might be some degree of embarrassment there, or a sense of disappointment in some way – it didn’t happen in the first 25 minutes we talked about.”
Of course, testing also costs – about $100 – although Doherty points out that insurance, including health insurance, covers it.
It’s important to talk, says Doherty, because if the cost is a problem, he can try a cheaper prescription, or if the side effect is a problem, try different kinds of drugs. He says it is worth the discomfort with patients because drugs can lead to differences between life and death.
The screening can also help patients avoid other unnecessary tests or other prescriptions, Dr. Tom Johnston said. He runs the hypertension clinic at Centennial medical center in Nashville and serves as chairman of the local chapter of the American heart association.
In addition to requiring the pharmacy to ensure that people are supplementing their prescriptions, he says he usually takes their advice.
“I think there are a lot of times when you wonder if someone is taking the medicine,” he said. “I think it’s good for the patients because the doctors know they’re not taking the drugs, so we’re not going the wrong way.”
Johnston, who is not affiliated with the aegis, said he was only concerned that the use of drug testing risked establishing a hostile relationship with patients. But, he says, there is a solution to the importance of proper medication.
Sarah Avery of Nashville says she knows all about the consequences.
“My dad died because he didn’t take his medicine,” she said.
Her family suffers from high blood pressure. Her mother and grandmother also struggled with high blood pressure. Still, the drug was a drag, and she sometimes decided to stop taking it without consulting her doctor.
“I lied, really, I lied,” she admitted. “He said, ‘are you taking any medicine? ‘I said,’ well, yes, my mother made sure I did. ‘I’m just lying,’ she said.
That is, until she had a stroke. Now, she has three blood pressure medications and says she must take them.


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