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What Medication Is Used For High Blood Pressure

What Are The Classes Of Anti

Introduction to High Blood Pressure Medication â Nephrology:Foundations | Lecturio

The main blood pressure drug classes include:

  • Thiazide diuretics: Diuretics remove salt and excess water from the body.
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors: ACE inhibitors are often used in people who have diabetes or heart disease. They help lower blood pressure by inhibiting the production of angiotensin in the body. Angiotensin is a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict which can lead to increased blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers : The ARBs block the effects of angiotensin.
  • Calcium channel blockers:Calcium channel blockers help lower blood pressure, slow the pulse, and treat arrhythmias . Calcium channel blockers can also be used to treat angina and relax the heart muscle.
  • Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers slow the pulse, lower blood pressure, and reduce the work of the heart.

What Are The Common Types Of High Blood Pressure Medications

There are a number of types and classes of drugs available for the management and treatment of high blood pressure . Your doctor or other health care professional will prescribe a drug that fits your specific needs based on your medical condition, and any other existing health problems you may have, for example, kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes. Your doctor also may recommend other therapies and lifestyle changes like getting more exercise, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet.

This information will provide a list of high blood pressure medication generic and brand names, their uses , and common side effects.

Why Is My Blood Pressure Still High On Medication

There are a number of reasons why your blood pressure may still be high when youre taking blood pressure medication. Reasons why it seems your high blood pressure medication isnt working include:

  • You may need two, three or four different antihypertensives.
  • Youre not taking them every day.
  • Youre taking multiple drugs, but they work the same way.
  • Youre eating too much salt.
  • A drug youre taking makes your body retain salt.
  • Youre not taking a diuretic.
  • You may have a condition called secondary hypertension, which means high blood pressure caused by a different problem with your body . If your blood pressure is very high after multiple medications are being used, this is something you should ask your doctor about.
  • Other drugs or herbs may prevent your blood pressure medication from working.
  • Recreational drugs can raise your blood pressure.

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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider

Tell your healthcare provider if youre having problems with blood pressure medication side effects. They can order a different antihypertensive medication or give you a different amount of what youre taking. Also, if your blood pressure readings get too high or too low on your home blood pressure monitor, tell your healthcare provider.

About High Blood Pressure

Vitamin D And High Blood Pressure Medication

If you have high blood pressure, you are one of about 116 million people in the United States who also have it.

However, many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because there are usually no obvious symptoms. Over time, the condition can lead to life threatening complications such as heart attack, heart failure, and stroke without producing any warning signs. This is why high blood pressure gets the name silent killer.

The only way to know your blood pressure is to measure it. Getting a blood pressure reading is a common procedure during a doctors visit. You can also measure your blood pressure at a pharmacy or at home with a blood pressure monitor.

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 millimeters of mercury . Blood pressure that is consistently above normal may indicate high blood pressure.

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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.

Generic name

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.

Hypertension: What You Need To Know As You Age

You cant see high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And most ofthe time, you cant feel it. But if youre among the 78 million Americanswith hypertension or are one of the 70 million with prehypertension, its important to understandits effects on your healthand to take action today to bring your numbersdown to healthier levels.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of yourarteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the dayfalling when yourerelaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasingtemporarily when youre under stress, excited or exercising. But when yourresting blood pressure level rises too high, it can scar, stiffen and/orweaken blood vessels. This effect can double your risk for aheart attack quadruple your odds for astroke raise your risk forheart failure, vision loss, kidney problems,dementiaand circulation problems such asperipheral artery disease weaken your bones and contribute toerectile dysfunctionin men.

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What Do The Numbers Mean

Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the walls of your arteries as it flows through your body. It is measured as two numbers, one over the otherfor example, 120 over 80. The measurement is in millimeters of mercury, expressed as mmHg. The systolic number is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The diastolic number is the pressure when the heart rests between contractions. An elevation in either or both of those numbers signals high blood pressure. See chart below for more details.

Importantly, even if your blood pressure is not elevated enough to be considered high, the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases as pressure rises above normal.

100 or above Your doctor will prescribe medication in addition to recommending lifestyle changes.

Source: Adapted from The 2014 Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults, a report from the panel members appointed to the eighth Joint National Committee Journal of the American Medical Association Feb. 5, 2014 Vol. 311: 507-520. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension in the Community, A Statement by the American Society of Hypertension and the International Society of Hypertension Journal of Clinical Hypertension Dec. 17, 2013.

What Are The Side Effects Of Blood Pressure Medicines

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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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Other Medicines For High Blood Pressure

Apart from the five main classes of medicines listed above, sometimes other medicines are used to lower blood pressure. For example:

Methyldopa or alpha-blockers are sometimes used if there are problems with the more commonly used medicines. Doxazosin is an alpha-blocker commonly added when blood pressure is high despite the treated person being on other medicines.

Spironolactone is another stronger ‘water’ tablet sometimes used as an add-on option for blood pressure which is difficult to control. Spironolactone is not usually given alongside ACE inhibitors or ARBs because the combination can cause potassium levels in the body to become dangerously high. Regular blood tests to check for this are needed if you are on this medication or medicine combination.

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Blood Pressure Medications

As with all medications, those used to treat blood pressure might cause side effects. It is essential to talk with your physician before starting a medicine about the potential side effects and which would require immediate medical attention. Not everyone experiences side effects and sometimes they go away after a while as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if side effects are interfering with your ability to carry out daily activities or do not go away after a few weeks, you should speak with a medical professional.

The following are some of the common side effects of the different types of medications for blood pressure issues. It is not a complete list.

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How Certain Drugs Affect Blood Pressure

Many types of drugs can elevate blood pressure.

NSAIDs, steroids, oral contraceptives, and antipsychotics have a clear correlation with raising blood pressure. This is because they can cause patients to retain fluid a little, which will lead to an increase in the blood pressure, said Dr. Joyce Oen-Hsiao, the director of clinical cardiology at Yale Medicine and an assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine.

NSAIDs like ibuprofen can blood pressure by impacting blood flow to the kidneys, explained Dr. Guy Mintz, Northwell Healths director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital.

Antidepressants can alter chemicals in the brain, which can contribute to hypertension, Mintz added.

Steroids can increase blood pressure levels too. Steroids can cause retention of salt and water to increase blood pressure, Mintz said.

About 45 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension, which is defined as a blood pressure measurement that is equal or greater than 130/80 mm Hg, according to Mintz.

Only 25 percent of U.S. adults have their hypertension under control.

High blood pressure, when untreated, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

High blood pressure can lead to stroke, kidney failure, and heart failure and is a contributing cause of death for almost half a million people in the United States per year, Oen-Hsiao said.

What Is The Most Popular Medication For High Blood Pressure

Is your blood pressure medication on the recall list? Find out here

Healthcare providers have several first-line or first-choice blood pressure medications they prescribe. They include:

  • Thiazide

What they do: They keep your body from making angiotensin II .

Selected blood pressure medication side effects:

  • Cough.
  • High potassium.
  • Dizziness.
  • Angioedema if you have this dangerous reaction, you shouldnt take an ACE inhibitor drug again.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers

What they do: They keep angiotensin II from making your blood vessels constrict.

Selected blood pressure medication side effects:

  • Dizziness.

Calcium channel blockers

What they do: They keep calcium out of your blood vessels, which lets the muscle in your blood vessels relax and loosen.

Selected blood pressure medication side effects:

  • Headache.

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Related Resources For Blood Pressure Treatment

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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

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

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What Are The Best Medications For Blood Pressure

There are many different choices for the treatment of hypertension and low blood pressure, and there is no “best” medication. What works for one person might not work for another. Everyone reacts differently to medicines, and it sometimes takes time to find the right drug or combination of drugs and the right dosage for you. Your doctor will take your medical conditions, medical history, and other medication you are taking into consideration when suggesting a treatment for you.

*many of these medications require an initial low dose and gradual increase in dosage until maintenance level is achieved.

Best medications for blood pressure
Drug name
0.1 – 0.2 mg/day Edema, cardiac enlargement, congestive heart failure

Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.

Treating For Multiple Conditions

Best Ways To Lower Your High Blood Pressure

The type of blood pressure medication your doctor prescribes may depend on what other health problems you have. For example, if you have coronary artery disease and high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker. If you have had a myocardial infarction due to CAD, a beta-blocker can lower your blood pressure and decrease your overall risk of death.

If you have diabetes, your doctor may choose an ACE inhibitor or an ARB. Thats because these drugs can help protect the kidneys from diabetic damage by lowering the blood pressure in your kidneys.

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Medications For High Blood Pressure

Other names: Drug-Induced Hypertension

High blood pressure is a term that is used to acknowledge that a persons blood pressure is above what is considered normal. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

Measuring somebody’s blood pressure gives us an indication of how effectively their heart is working to pump blood around their body. If their heart and blood vessels are working efficiently, then their blood pressure will be normal or slightly below normal. If their heart is having to work very hard to pump blood around their body, then their blood pressure will be high.

Blood pressure is composed of two measurements.

  • The first recording is called the systolic pressure and it measures the force the heart must pump against to get blood to flow around the body. It can indicate how flexible or stiff the blood vessels are. During this measurement, the blood pressure cuff inflates to a certain extent and records what pressure around the arm stops blood flow.
  • The second recording is called diastolic pressure. This measures the resting pressure when the heart relaxes between heartbeats. It is recorded while the blood pressure cuff is deflating.

Most experts consider a normal blood pressure to be 120/80 mm Hg. Ideally, everybodys blood pressure should be below 130/80 mm Hg. If the first number is above 130 or the second number is above 80 then a person is said to have high blood pressure.

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:

  • Lisinopril : This medication is an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. It is a drug that you usually take once per day. Most people find once-daily dosing to be convenient and easy to remember. Lisinopril is also a treatment option for heart failure.
  • Metoprolol : This medication is a beta-blocker. It comes in an immediate-release form and an extended-release form. It also helps lower the risk of repeat heart attacks and helps treat angina and congestive heart failure.
  • Amlodipine : This medication is a calcium channel blocker. People usually take it once per day. Amlodipine is also a treatment option for angina.
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    How Does Blood Pressure Medication Work

    There are different types of blood pressure medications, which work in different ways.

    • ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers work to reduce the angiotensin II hormone, allowing blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure.
    • Diuretics work by increasing urine production, removing salt and water in your body, which decreases the volume of your blood, lowering blood pressure.
    • Beta-blockers slow down your heartbeat and decrease the strength of your pulse meaning that blood is pumped through the blood vessels with less force, causing lower blood pressure.
    • Calcium channel blockers relax the muscles that surround blood vessels, causing the blood vessels to become larger, meaning that there is more space for blood flow, which lowers blood pressure. Some of these medications also decrease the speed and strength of heartbeats.


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