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Table 3 Adverse effects of drugs: percentage of people with one or more symptoms attributable to treatment*, according to category of drug and dose, in randomised trials [9, 20]

From: Blood pressure reduction, persistence and costs in the evaluation of antihypertensive drug treatment – a review

   Percent (95%CI) with symptoms (treated minus placebo)
Drug class No. of trials 1/2 standard dose Standard dose Twice standard dose
Thiazides 59 2.0 [-2.2 to 6.3] 9.9 [6.6 to 13.2] 17.8 [11.5 to 24.2]
BBs 62 5.5 [0.3 to 10.7] 7.5 [4.0 to 10.9] 9.4 [3.6 to 15.2]
ACEi 96 3.9 [-3.7 to 11.6] 3.9 [-0.5 to 8.3] 3.9 [-0.2 to 8.0]
ARBs 44 -1.8 [-10.2 to 6.5] 0 [-5.4 to 5.4] 1.9 [-5.6 to 9.3]
CCBs 96 1.6 [-3.5 to 6.7] 8.3 [4.8 to 11.8] 14.9 [9.8 to 20.1]
  1. ACE = angiotensin converting enzyme. *Calculated as difference between treated and placebo groups in proportion of participants who developed one or more symptoms, excluding headaches, which were significantly less common in people receiving treatment. Commonest symptoms: thiazides–dizziness, impotence, nausea, muscle cramp; Beta-blockers–cold extremities, fatigue, nausea; ACE inhibitors–cough; calcium channel blockers–flushing, ankle oedema, dizziness.