Purpose: The study assessed the knowledge of both HIV and non-HIV hypertensive patients on hypertension and the role of pharmacists in their pharmaceutical care.
Methods: The study was conducted at the hypertension and HIV clinics in government hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Patients were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and pharmacists were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire and by observation.
Results: Few patients in both groups knew the names of antihypertensive medicines they were taking. Information on the use of antihypertensive and antiretroviral (ARV) medicines was mostly provided by doctors. Adverse drug reactions were significantly more when patient used both ARVs and antihypertensive medicines than when they used only antihypentsives. Only 20 % of hypertensive-HIV patients informed the pharmacist dispensing antihypertensive medicines that they were using ARVs, and only 19 % of the pharmacists knew the drug interactions between ARVs and antihypertensive medicines. During dispensing, about 2 % of the patients were asked about other medicines being used.
Conclusion: There is a need to improve patients’ knowledge of hypertension. The pharmacists should also have up-to-date knowledge of hypertension-HIV co-morbidity. Proper coordination between HIV and hypertension clinics and the full integration of a pharmacist in the health care team can help to improve patient care.