If You Have High Blood Pressure You Might Need To Take Medications To Help Lower It
Making healthy changes to your lifestyle could be enough to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level, but some people will also need medicines.
If you start taking high blood pressure medicines, its likely you will need to keep taking them for a long time. If your blood pressure stays under control for several years, you might be able to take a lower dose or stop taking them altogether. can help.
- Occasionally medications dont bring blood pressure down low enough, even if youre having more than one type of medication and at the highest possible dose. This is called resistant hypertension. Sometimes the medications bring blood pressure down but the side effects are too much to live with.If you have resistant hypertension or severe side effects, you can ask to be referred to a .
Medical Code For Hypertension
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What Are The Risks Or Complications Of Blood Pressure Medication
Some older adults have a sudden drop in blood pressure when they stand up . Antihypertensive medication can make this worse, and older adults can get dizzy and fall, sometimes getting injured. Some antihypertensive medications change your electrolyte levels as you lose extra fluid in your urine. Too high or too low levels of potassium can cause dangerous heart rhythms.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Blood Pressure Medicines
Most of the time, blood pressure medicines do not cause side effects. Some people have mild side effects, including dizziness, headaches, swelling in the legs or feet, or stomach problems.2
Some over-the-counter medicines, such as nasal decongestants, can also raise blood pressure and interact with blood pressure medicines.3 Tell your doctor about any medicines or supplements you are already taking.
All medicines have risks. Talk with your doctor about the best blood pressure medicines for you, their benefits, risks, and side effects, and any other health problems you may have.
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When Should You See A Doctor For High Blood Pressure
More often than not, hypertension doesn’t cause visible symptoms. So how do you know when you need to see a medical professional? You should get your regular checkups, where your doctor will track your blood pressure readings. And if there are any concerns, they will provide appropriate recommendations to bring your blood pressure down.
That said, be sure to seek immediate medical care if:
You have extremely high blood pressure readings no matter how you are feeling
You have symptoms like blurry vision and severe headache
You are dizzy, lightheaded, or feel like you might faint
You’ll also want to visit your doctor if you think your blood pressure medications are causing side effects. The same is true if your blood pressure numbers get higher than your recommended safe level at least twice.
Overviews Of The Classes Of Blood Pressure Medications
Summaries of some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications are provided here.
- For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking. However, this information does not signify a recommendation or endorsement from the American Heart Association.
- If your prescription medication isnt on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information.
- It’s important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects.
- Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is. For people whose systolic reading falls in the range 120 to 129 and the diastolic reading is equal to or less than 80, lifestyle changes are usually recommended over medications. These may include:
- Losing weight if you are overweight
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Eating less salt
- More physical activity
- Limiting alcohol.
If treatment is considered necessary, sometimes more than one medication is prescribed. Medications for high blood pressure include:
What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Blood Pressure Medicines
The benefits of blood pressure medicines are clear: Blood pressure medicines can help you keep your blood pressure at healthy levels and therefore greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
In general, the risks of taking blood pressure medicines are low. However, all medicines have risks. Talk with your doctor or health care professional about the risks of high blood pressure medicines.
Do not stop taking your current medicine without talking to your doctor or health care professional first.
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Classes Of Blood Pressure Medications
There are many classes of antihypertensive medications and many drugs within each class. This results in a large number of drugs that doctors can use to treat high blood pressure.
To assist doctors in choosing the best treatment, they typically follow guidelines and recommendations from experts in this medical field.
Some commonly prescribed classes of antihypertensive medications include:
High Blood Pressure Medication During Pregnancy
Hypertension during pregnancy can cause problems for you and your baby. Some women develop high blood pressure before they become pregnant, while others develop the condition for the first time during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure disorder that can impact pregnancy and childbirth.
High blood pressure during pregnancy poses certain risks, including:
Reduced blood flow to the baby
Intrauterine growth restriction
Injury to other body organs
Premature delivery to prevent life-threatening complications
Increased risk of future cardiovascular disease
Some high blood pressure medications also present a risk to pregnant women and their unborn children. Certain drugs will be prescribed for specific trimesters, while others are best avoided throughout the pregnancy. Medical experts often avoid prescribing ACE inhibitors, renin inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant or planning on it, be sure to talk to your healthcare professional before taking any high blood pressure medications. That said, treating high blood pressure during pregnancy is crucial. Your doctor will determine the safest medication and prescribe it at the appropriate dose, but its up to you to take it regularly to achieve the best blood pressure control.
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Angiotensin Ii Receptor Blockers
These drugs block the effects of angiotensin, a chemical that causes the arteries to become narrow. Angiotensin needs a receptor- like a chemical “slot” to fit into or bind with- in order to constrict the blood vessel. ARBs block the receptors so the angiotensin fails to constrict the blood vessel. This means blood vessels stay open and blood pressure is reduced.
Some noted possible side effects of Angiotensin II receptor blockers:
- May cause occasional dizziness.
- ARBs should not be used during pregnancy.Medications that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury or even death to a developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, consult your healthcare professional as soon as possible.
What Are Other Ways I Can Lower My Blood Pressure
In addition to taking medicine to control your blood pressure, you can take other steps to help keep your blood pressure levels healthy.
- Get regular physical activity. Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity helps keep your heart and blood vessels strong. It also can help you keep a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke. Smoking damages your blood vessels and greatly increases your risk of not only high blood pressure but also heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
- Eat healthy foods. Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Keep a healthy weight. Having overweight or obesity means your heart must work harder to pump blood and oxygen around the body. Staying at a healthy weight reduces the stress on your heart and reduces your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
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High Blood Pressure No Medication
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Top 10 High Blood Pressure Medications
Drugs that treat high blood pressure are known as antihypertensives. Blood pressure medications work by:
- reducing the amount of water and salt in your body
- causing the blood vessels to relax to keep them from narrowing
- hampering nerve activity that causes blood vessels to restrict
- lowering your heart rate and helping it beat with less force
There are several classes of antihypertensive medications, and each class includes several drug options. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment plan.
The following list provides the top 10 blood pressure medications by prescriptions written. The list includes a brief description of each drug, including its class, how to take it, and what it treats. The next section provides more information on drug classes.
The most common high blood pressure medications by total prescriptions written include:
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How Will Your Doctor Determine Which High Blood Pressure Medication Is Right For You
The type of high blood pressure medication prescribed to you primarily depends on your specific case a combination of your risk factors and the severity of your high blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are often one of the first-line treatments for high blood pressure. ACE inhibitors tend to be prescribed more often because they have relatively few side effects and have been studied more extensively. ACE inhibitors are ideal for people who also have diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure, or a history of stroke or heart attack.
ARBs are often prescribed to people who might be candidates for ACE inhibitors but can’t take them due to excessive coughing . It’s worth noting that taking ACE inhibitors and ARBs simultaneously isn’t recommended as the combination could lead to kidney failure.
Your doctor may recommend thiazide diuretics as a first-choice medication, alone or alongside other drugs, depending on the specifics of your condition. Diuretics are a good choice for people with diseases that involve high blood volume or swelling, such as heart or kidney failure or other conditions that cause potassium loss.
Calcium channel blockers are ideal for people with angina, heart rhythm abnormalities, or migraines.