How Does Your Blood Pressure Medication Work
Have you ever wondered what’s going on behind the scenes with your blood pressure medication? Here’s how blood pressure medications work.
Blood pressure medications are grouped into several classes. Each class works in a different way to lower blood pressure. The main classes are:
diuretics : This class of medications works by increasing the amount of urine your body produces. This causes the body to lose salt and water, which decreases the volume of the blood, leading to lower blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors : This class of medications works by blocking the body’s production of a substance that tightens the blood vessels. As a result, the blood vessels become more relaxed, and the pressure of the blood inside the vessels decreases.
beta-blockers : These medications work by slowing down the heartbeat and decreasing the strength of each beat. This means blood is pumped through the vessels with less force, which lowers blood pressure.
angiotensin II receptor blockers : This group of medications works in a similar way as the ACE inhibitors. But instead of blocking the production of the blood vessel-tightening substance, it stops the substance from working on the blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and the blood pressure to decrease.
Although not a separate class, there are a number of products available in combination formulations that contain two medications in one pill . These combination products reduce the number of pills you need to take.
Follow The Other Parts Of Your High Blood Pressure Treatment Plan
When it comes to treating high blood pressure, it’s likely that you and your doctor have talked about steps in addition to taking medication. These steps can help make your medicine work even better to control blood pressure. Here are some of the other steps that might be part of your plan:
- Eat a diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meat and dairy foods.
- Watch how much sodium you eat in your diet. Most of the sodium you eat comes from packaged or processed foods.
- Watch how much alcohol you drink. Ask your doctor about an appropriate amount.
- Don’t use cigarettes or other tobacco products.
- Get as close as you can to a healthy weight. Your doctor can help you determine an appropriate goal.
- Get regular physical activity. Try for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.
- Learn ways to relieve stress, such as relaxation techniques.
For each of these steps, your doctor can give you more information and get you started. Or your doctor may refer you to other health professionals who can help. Some health centers even offer free or inexpensive classes in these areas.
What Does Lisinopril Do
Lisinoprils main function is to lower blood pressure. Like other ACE inhibitors, lisinopril stops the production of the hormone angiotensin II, which causes the blood vessels to narrow and fluids to be retained. Those two processes can result in hypertension, so when angiotensin II is blocked, blood pressure decreases. This improves blood flow and allows the heart to pump more effectively.
Lisinopril primarily treats high blood pressure, but it is also used for:
- Heart failure treatment
- Heart attack prevention and improving survival rate after a heart attack
- Stroke prevention
- Diabetic kidney disease treatment
Lisinopril isnt metabolized in the body, but it is excreted in the urine.
The first dose of lisinopril can cause dizziness, so doctors say bedtime is the best time of day to take the first dose. After that, you can take lisinopril any time. It is common for people to start on a low dose of lisinopril, and gradually increase the dose with time, under the guidance of their healthcare provider.
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High Blood Pressure Medicines
Treating high blood pressure will help prevent problems such as heart disease, stroke, loss of eyesight, chronic kidney disease, and other blood vessel diseases.
You may need to take medicines to lower your blood pressure if lifestyle changes are not enough to bring your blood pressure to the target level.
WHEN ARE MEDICINES FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE USED
Most of the time, your health care provider will try lifestyle changes first and check your BP two or more times.
If your blood pressure is 120/80 to 129/80 mm Hg, you have elevated blood pressure.
- Your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
- Medicines are rarely used at this stage.
If your blood pressure is equal to or higher than 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, you have Stage 1 high blood pressure. When thinking about the best treatment, you and your provider must consider:
- If you have no other diseases or risk factors, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes and repeat the measurements after a few months.
- If your blood pressure remains equal to or higher than 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, your provider may recommend medicines to treat high blood pressure.
- If you have other diseases or risk factors, your provider may be more likely to recommend medicines at the same time as lifestyle changes.
MEDICINES FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Most of the time, only a single drug will be used at first. Two drugs may be started if you have stage 2 high blood pressure.
Medicines For High Blood Pressure
Several types of medicine can be used to help control high blood pressure.
Many people need to take a combination of different medicines.
- if you’re under 55 years of age you’ll usually be offered an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin-2 receptor blocker
- if you’re aged 55 or older, or you’re any age and of African or Caribbean origin you’ll usually be offered a calcium channel blocker
You may need to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. But your doctor might be able to reduce or stop your treatment if your blood pressure stays under control for several years.
It’s really important to take your medicine as directed. If you miss doses, it will not work as well.
The medicine will not necessarily make you feel any different, but this does not mean it’s not working.
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure can have side effects, but most people do not get any.
If you do get side effects, do not stop taking your medicine. Talk to your doctor, who may advise changing your medicine.
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Treating High Blood Pressure Can Fight Memory Loss Study Finds
Hermida and his research team randomly selected half of the study participants to take their blood pressure pills upon waking up in the morning. The other half made the medication part of their bedtime routine.
The team then tracked the patients for six years, periodically monitoring their blood pressure levels continuously in 48-hour blocks.
The differences in outcomes were striking: Compared with the group who took their pills in the morning, the nighttimers had a more than 40 percent lower risk of experiencing a heart attack, heart failure, stroke or needing procedures to open clogged coronary arteries.
What’s more, their risk of dying from heart problems during the study period was cut by 56 percent.
Normally, a person experiences “nocturnal dipping” while asleep at night: Blood pressure “dips” by about 10 to 20 percent.
But that doesn’t happen in some people, and others may even experience an increase in blood pressure during sleep, said Dr. Luke Laffin, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who was not involved in the new research.
“It makes sense that if we give blood pressure medicines at night, we may catch some of those people who have the nondipping patterns, or elevated blood pressures at night,” said Laffin, “and protect them from more cardiovascular disease.”
How Long Will It Take For Amlodipine To Lower My Blood Pressure
Most people who begin amlodipine will see their blood pressure go down within about 1 week of starting the medicine. After about a week of taking amlodipine daily, your blood pressure should reach a lower level.
This tells you how long amlodipine takes to lower your blood pressure in the long run. But how long does it take for each amlodipine dose to take effect on a daily basis?
Although each dose of amlodipine begins working as soon as it enters the blood, it takes 6-12 hours for amlodipine to reach its greatest effect. This means your blood pressure should begin to go down within 12 hours of taking amlodipine. So if you take amlodipine at 8:00 am with your breakfast, when you check your pressure at 4:00 pm , it should have gone down. However, each person is different. You may see your blood pressure go down more quickly or more slowly than this. Once you are taking amlodipine at the same time every day, your blood pressure should stay down throughout the day.
Amlodipine is like a sprinter. As soon as the race starts, the runner starts sprinting, but it takes the sprinter a few strides to reach their fastest pace.
Amlodipine takes about a week to reach its peak!
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How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure In Minutes
If your blood pressure is elevated and you want to see an immediate change, lie down and take deep breaths. This is how you lower your blood pressure within minutes, helping to slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure. When you feel stress, hormones are released that constrict your blood vessels.
Make Lifestyle Changes First
Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s important to take steps to keep it under control because it tends to get higher with age. That’s especially important if you’re a black American or have a family history of the condition, since both sharply increase the risk of developing it. And a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential if you already have high-normal readings. For people with high blood pressure, lifestyle measures can sometimes reduce or even eliminate the need for drugs. For example, research has found that the DASH diet can be as effective as medication for some people with mild hypertension. This relatively low-sodium diet relies on fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. The potassium in those foods, and possibly the calcium, too, appear to help control blood pressure. For people with normal blood pressure and no heart disease or stroke risk factors, the suggested 2,400 mg daily sodium limit, achievable by adopting the DASH diet alone, might help ward off the upward creep of blood pressure that can occur with age. Other steps include losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and drinking alcohol only in moderation, as shown in the table below.
|Aim for a body mass index under 25.||2.5 to 10 mmHg for about every 11 pounds|
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Remember To Refill Your Prescriptions
High blood pressure drugs need to be taken on schedule. So don’t let your supply run out! This can be tricky, especially if you use multiple drugs and different pharmacies. See if any of these suggestions might help:
- Find out exactly how soon you can reorder your prescription. Usually it’s about a week before your current supply runs out. Insurance companies have different rules for how early you can request a refill before the current supply runs out.
- Try to use only one pharmacy. It will be easier to talk to a pharmacist about possible drug interactions among prescription and nonprescription drugs and supplements and make sure you are not taking duplicate medicines.
- Use a friend or family member to help you find your way through the insurance, mail order, or other groups you must deal with in order to get your refills.
- If you’re planning to travel, have all of your medication ready to go with you. Keep it with you, rather than in your checked baggage when flying.
Bedtime May Be The Best Time To Take Blood Pressure Meds Study Finds
Blood pressure medication may confer a larger benefit if taken at night, rather than in the morning, according to research published Tuesday in the European Heart Journal.
The large study of more than 19,000 high blood pressure patients found that taking the medication so that it works overnight, when patients are asleep, cuts the risk of heart-related death and disease nearly in half.
“The same medication ingested at different times of the day actually has different pharmacological properties, behaving like totally different medications,” said the study’s lead author, Ramón Hermida, director of the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Labs at the University of Vigo in Spain.
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When To Call 911 For High Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects
In rare cases, medication for hypertension can cause an extreme drop in blood pressure that requires emergency medical treatment. if someone you know takes blood pressure medication and experiences:
A series of blood pressure readings below 90/60 mm Hg accompanied by other symptoms
Altered mental status including extreme or loss of consciousness
Inability to wake the person up
Fortunately, these symptoms are very rare. Most people take high blood pressure medicine without ever experiencing even a minor side effect.
Measuring Ambulatory Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can also be diagnosed through a special device called an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will get you to wear the device for a full day. The device measures blood pressure every 20 to 30 minutes and gives the doctor an average of your blood pressures during the day and while you are sleeping. These devices are not available everywhere and can be uncomfortable to wear.
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Day Or Nightwhen Is The Best Time To Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine
ANKARA, TURKEY – NOVEMBER 14: A woman takes a pill on November 14, 2018 in Ankara, Turkey.
If you have high blood pressure, remembering to take your medication is so important.
In fact, the time of day when you take your medicine could influence your risk for complications such as heart attack and stroke, which is ultimately related to how well you manage your blood pressure.
The bodys natural rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm also affects how we respond to specific medications, the result of a complex interplay between your medication and cortisol, the chief hormone responsible for this rhythm.
Now, a new study recommends that you take your blood pressure medicine at bedtimeto lower your blood pressure during the night and early morninghelping to prevent elevation of blood pressure that normally occurs as you awaken.
The research was published earlier this week in the European Heart Journal.
There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that not only genetics, but the time of day you take a medicine may influence how effective it is for treating a particular condition.
The current study looking at this phenomenon represents the largest study to date of patients with high blood pressure, and included more than 19,000 persons on medications to treat high blood pressure.
The key here is routines, said Bhusri. An even routine has shown that patients are more compliant with taking their medications more regularly and not forgetting.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure At Home
You can also diagnose yourself with hypertension by measuring your blood pressure at home. If readings are high over two visits at the doctors office, and if your blood pressure is higher than 135/85 mmHg when properly measured at home, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made. This requires you to measure your blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one week. Pay no attention to the measurements from the first day. Measuring blood pressure at home requires accurate equipment and proper measuring techniques. Measure the blood pressure of others in your house their blood pressure may also be high.
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So You Have High Blood Pressure What Else Could Be Wrong
If you have high blood pressure, get checked for diabetes and high cholesterol. Most people who have high blood pressure also have some of the other risks for heart disease and stroke, such as not getting enough physical activity, having unhealthy eating habits, smoking, being overweight or drinking too much alcohol. Ask your doctor to test your kidney function through a blood and urine test, and through the electrolytes in your blood kidney problems can cause high blood pressure.
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Who Can And Cannot Take Olmesartan
Olmesartan can be taken by adults, and by children aged 6 years and over.
Your doctor may prescribe olmesartan if you have tried taking blood pressure-lowering medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, such as ramipril and lisinopril, but had to stop taking them because of side effects such as a dry cough.
Olmesartan isn’t suitable for some people.
To make sure olmesartan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to olmesartan or any other medicines in the past
- have problems with your bile ducts or gallbladder, such as blocked bile ducts or gallstones
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you’re breastfeeding