Blood pressure pill may be dangerous
A blood pressure lowering drug used to treat patients immediately after they have had a stroke has no benefits and could even be harmful, according to a study.
The results released today mean the drug should no longer be given to patients within the first week of them suffering a stroke, researchers concluded.
In most cases, medication to treat high blood pressure after a stroke is not given, but it is prescribed in the most extreme cases. However, the Norwegian research suggests that a drug called candesartan does not help.
The Stroke Association spokeswoman Elspeth McAusland said: "After a stroke your risk of having a further stroke increases.
"We welcome any research which could provide further guidance on how to treat stroke patients immediately afterwards in order to reduce their future risk.
"It is common for blood pressure to increase directly after stroke, possibly as a result of the patient feeling very anxious.
"This research suggests that stroke physicians should avoid using blood pressure lowering medication at this stage, but more research needs to be done in this area."
The results of the study, part of the Scandinavian Candesartan Acute Stroke Trial, were published in The Lancet.