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What Is The Best Medicine For High Blood Pressure

Nonprescription Products To Avoid With Hypertension

Top 5 Most Common Blood Pressure Medications

W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPhBernhardt Professor, Nonprescription Products and DevicesCollege of Pharmacy, Southwestern Oklahoma State UniversityWeatherford, Oklahoma

US Pharm.

Researchers have charted an alarming rise in the number of persons with hypertension. For example, the number rose by 30% from 1994 to 2000.1 The CDC estimated the percentage of noninstitutionalized adults aged 20 years and above with hypertension to be 32%.2 The number of ambulatory visits that have hypertension as the primary diagnosis is estimated to be 40.5 million.2 In 2006, there were 23,855 deaths due to hypertension, or 8 per 100,000 population.2

The National Institutes of Health has provided this hypertension advice for the lay public: Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.3 Of course, this optimistic statement assumes that patients do not unknowingly take any action that would raise their blood pressure. For instance, some nonprescription medications may cause dangerous rises in blood pressure, and the labels reflect that danger by recommending that patients speak to a physician before using them. However, some patients ignore the labels completely. Others may choose to ask the pharmacist about the warning. For this reason, it is important for pharmacists to be aware of which products carry the warning and which alternative products may be recommended.

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How Quickly Does Dark Chocolate Lower Blood Pressure

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What To Eat To Lower Blood Pressure Quickly

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What Causes High Blood Pressure

The factors that cause hypertension can be divided into two different categories secondary and essential high blood pressure. While there are no definite causes of essential high blood pressure, there is always an underlying cause for secondary high blood pressure.

While no cause has been linked to essential high blood pressure yet, the following risk factors can contribute to developing the condition:

As you grow older, the risk of becoming a victim of hypertension increases.

Family History

You might experience high blood pressure if your family is known to have a history of hypertension. If family members close to you have hypertension, then your chances of developing it dramatically increase.

Obesity

As compared to people with an average weight, obese and overweight people have a higher chance of developing hypertension.

Smoking

Due to smoking, the blood vessels become narrow which eventually leads to higher blood pressure. Moreover, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. As a result, to compensate for the loss of oxygen, the heart pumps blood much faster leading to an increase in blood pressure.

Intake of Alcohol

Research suggests that those that tend to drink on a regular basis are known to have higher blood pressure as compared to people that dont.

A greater amount of salt

Diets rich in fat

Stress

Numerous studies suggest that mental stress, particularly one that persists over a long term can severely impact the blood pressure.

What Are The Risks Of Resistant Hypertension

Best Blood Pressure Medications 2016

Over time, uncontrolled hypertension damages the arteries, contributing to their stiffening. As the arteries become narrower and less flexible, the heart has to work harder to move blood through the body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and other heart conditions cause damage to your kidneys, memory and vision and contribute to erectile dysfunction.

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Use Herbs For High Blood Pressure With Caution

If taken in the correct dosage, many of the aforementioned herbs have the potential to treat hypertension. Be aware that in many cases, the benefits are limited and should always be combined with other methods in order to see lasting or significant improvement in cardiovascular health.

Remember to tell your medical doctor about any herbs or supplements that you are taking, as they may have interactions with other medications or have other side effects.

In fact, according to a paper published in the Anesthetic Surgery Journal, herbs like garlic and ginseng and should be halted two weeks before any surgery because they may affect the heart, increase bleeding, or interfere with anesthesia.

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What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure

If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider prescribe hypertension medications. Your provider will take into account these drugs effect on other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease, and other drugs youre taking.

You might need to take hypertension medicine from now on. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2020.

References

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Cough Medicines For People With High Blood Pressure

Many seemingly safe over-the-counter cough and cold products may be dangerous for people with high blood pressure, because they can raise blood pressure without causing symptoms 13. Therefore, it is very important to be selective when it comes to selecting cough and cold products. Those with high blood pressure should familiarize themselves with the ingredients in over-the-counter medicines before buying any of them 1.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

How To Use Beet Protein Powder To Lower Blood Pressure

BEST Blood Pressure Meds for Bodybuilders?

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What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision

Check the facts

  • Youre right. Your doctor might recommend that you take medicine if you have very high blood pressure or if you have organ damage or other health problems such as diabetes.
  • Sorry, thats not right. Your doctor might recommend that you take medicine if you have very high blood pressure or if you have organ damage or other health problems such as diabetes.
  • It may help to go back and read Get the Facts. Your doctor may advise you to take medicine if your blood pressure is very high, you have signs of organ damage, or if you have heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.
  • Youre right. Even with pills, you will need healthy habits for the rest of your life to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Sorry, thats not right. Even with pills, you will need healthy habits for the rest of your life to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • It may help to go back and read Get the Facts. Even with pills, you will need healthy habits for the rest of your life to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

1. How sure do you feel right now about your decision?

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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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Managing A Cold With Hypertension

If you cant take a decongestant because of high blood pressure, there are other ways to reduce your cold or allergy symptoms:

  • Take Coricidin HBP, which is free of decongestants

  • Drink plenty of fluids including water, juice, tea and soup to prevent dehydration and clear mucus from your lungs

  • Take a pain reliever such as Tylenol or Motrin for fever, sore throat, body aches and headache

  • Flush your sinuses with a saline spray to relieve nasal congestion

  • Soothe a sore or scratchy throat with lozenges

  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier if necessary to boost humidity

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Return to your doctor after five to seven days to make sure youre on the road to recovery

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How To Better Measure Blood Pressure

Vitamin D And High Blood Pressure Medication

As you can imagine, a key component of optimizing BP management is to measure an older persons BP and pulse.

Measuring BP allows us to:

  • Diagnose people with hypertension,
  • Determine how severe it is ,
  • Evaluate how well people are responding to a treatment plan, whether that plan involves lifestyle changes or medication or both.

Measuring BP usually sounds straightforward.

People assume its just a matter of finding out what the BP was at the doctors office, or getting a reading from a home monitor, or maybe even a reading from a health fair or drugstore.

But in fact, research has shown that a single office-based BP reading often does not represent a persons usual BP. One study even found that the usual way of measuring BP misdiagnosed 24-32% of volunteers!

This is because people are often anxious when at the doctors office, which can temporarily raise BP. Studies estimate this white-coat hypertension affects 10-20% of people.

Furthermore, BP is constantly changing a bit, moment to moment. So experts agree that its much better to obtain several readings and average them, in order to properly assess a persons usual BP.

As you can imagine, this is not the way most peoples blood pressure is measured by their doctors.

So whats better?

Based on these facts, in 2008 the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association issued a joint scientific statement.

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High Blood Pressure Chart

The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .

Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .

Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.

Systolic
  • congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma

Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.

Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.

Treatment will depend on several factors, including:

  • how high the blood pressure is
  • the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke

The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.

If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.

What Painkillers Can You Safely Use While On Blood Pressure Drugs

Generally speaking, Aspirin, well-known as a blood thinner but also a member of the NSAID family, has been found to be fairly safe for people on most kinds of blood pressure meds if you take it very rarely. Suggestions that Aspirin also, itself, acts as an antihypertensive have not been found to hold much water however, so never use even low-dose Aspirin on a daily basis without your doctor’s explicit instructions.

Acetaminophen , which is very often discussed as a safer alternative to ibuprofen and Aspirin, can also raise your blood pressure , to the point where the authors of one study point out that “we have a misplaced confidence in the cardiovascular safety of paracetamol”. Further study, they conclude, is clearly needed.

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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.

The Most Successful Medications For High Blood Pressure

Best Prescription Medicine For High Blood Pressure

If individuals suffer from hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, it can be challenging to choose the right medication. As patients make essential lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, reducing salt in their diet, regularly exercising, and quitting smoking, they may require medications to better control their blood pressure and reduce their risk of complications. The most successful medication for a single patient will depend on several factors, including their current blood pressure reading and their overall health.

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Take The Right Medicines

If a healthy diet and lifestyle changes alone don’t lower your blood pressure enough, or if your levels are very high to begin with, you should consider medication. The drugs used to treat high blood pressure are effective and relatively safe, and most are available as low-cost generics. But they can cause side effects, as listed in the table below.

Many doctors will recommend initial treatment with a group of drugs called thiazide diuretics, sometimes known as “water pills.” Studies have consistently shown these drugs work for most people who take them, have been used for more than 50 years, are inexpensive, and have a very good safety record. In addition, they outperform all other types of high blood pressure drugs in reducing the risk of death from heart failure.

Still, many doctors routinely prescribe other blood pressure medicines, including newer, more expensive ones. In addition to thiazide diuretics, the guidelines this report is based on recommend three types of drugs for potential initial treatment, or if a second drug is needed to lower your blood pressure. They are: calcium channel blockers angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers .

Recommended first-choice blood pressure drugs

  • Thiazide diuretics

What else you need to know about the latest blood pressure guidelines

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