High Blood Pressure Medication - Know Your Options
The Good, Bad and The Ugly
High blood pressure medication can be a confusing topic and that’s unfortunate because it has such a huge impact on the quality of your life if you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Controlling high blood pressure without medication is obviously the best of all possible worlds, but in some circumstances that’s just not possible.
There are a variety of blood pressure medications that your doctor has available to him to prescribe. These run from diuretics to exceptionally potent alpha blockers or vasodilators which come with potentially severe side effects. The type, strength and number of medications recommended for your condition will depend on just how elevated your pressure is.
What Stage Are You?
If you are pre-hypertensive, which means your systolic pressure is between 120 and 139 and your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89, your doctor will probably advise you to make changes in your lifestyle like changing to a healthier diet, getting exercise and cutting down on alcohol intake. This natural medication for high blood pressure is often times all you will need to get your pressure back to normal.
If you have stage 1 high blood pressure, 140/90 to 159/99, then your doctor will most likely prescribe a drug and that typically will be a thiazide diuretic. The diuretic will flush excess water and sodium from your system allowing for your blood pressure to go down. In addition, the thiazide diuretic provides some protection from heart attack and stroke. If you are at this stage, it becomes very important that you follow the lifestyle changes necessary to lower your blood pressure.
The Line Up
Failing to do this will lessen the effect of the diuretic and will result in a need for a second, more powerful drug. When you start getting into these drugs you start risking some nasty side effects and your meds will suddenly have an impact on your quality of life. Here is a partial list that might be added to the diuretic:
- ACE Inhibitors. These drugs block the production of a hormone that causes the blood vessels to constrict allowing them to relax. Less constriction equals lower blood pressure. ACE Inhibitors include the drugs Capoten, Prinivil and Altace.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These drugs block the hormone angiotensin which allows the blood vessels to widen in response to pressure on the walls. Commonly prescribed medication in this class includes Cozaar, Benicar and Diovan.
- Beta Blockers. These drugs interrupt nerve signals to the heart causing it to slow down and thereby reduce the pressure in the blood vessels. Lopressor, Corgard and Levatol are often prescribed.
- Calcium Channel Blockers. This class prevents calcium from entering the heart and blood vessel cells thereby relaxing them. The big problem with this class is that it can work to well and cause your heart to relax to the point it stops beating. Common calcium channel blockers include Norvasc, Cardizem and Procardia.
Is it becoming painfully obvious that you want to avoid needing these medications?
Are You Stage 2
If you have stage 2 hypertension, you probably won’t have any choice but to take one or more of these drugs as it is essential that you get your pressure lowered as quickly as possible. Stage 2 hypertension is a blood pressure reading greater than 160/100.
Combining drugs is quite common. Often times this will mean you can take a lower dose of each which is good for your body, and it could prove less expensive as well. If your doctor has prescribed a combination, do not settle for anything less than a mix that allows you to control the pressure with minimal side effects.
Of course the way to avoid all this is simply to focus on a natural cure which does not use drugs but relies on changes in diet, exercise and stress management. Focusing on those three areas effectively can reduce your pressure reading by 20 points inside three weeks.
Understand, taking a pill doesn’t require much discipline, changing the way you eat and live does. Which one makes more sense to you in the long run?
More Good Info On High Blood Pressure
- Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
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