Blood Pressure Medicine basics

Why do I need medicines to treat high blood pressure? — Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and other serious problems. The medicines your doctor or nurse prescribes to treat high blood pressure can help reduce the risk of these problems and even help you live longer.

It's very important that you take your blood pressure medicines every day as directed. High blood pressure doesn't usually cause symptoms, so people sometimes don't take it seriously. Plus, blood pressure medicines can cause side effects and be expensive, so it's easy to understand why people don't like to take them. But if you are tempted to skip your medicines, remember, they can save your life!

If your medicines cause unpleasant side effects, or if you can't afford your medicines, talk to your doctor or nurse. There are often ways to deal with these problems. The first step is to let your doctor or nurse know.

Which medicines might I need? — There are lots of different medicines to treat high blood pressure. But some of the medicines have other health benefits besides lowering blood pressure.

Your doctor or nurse will decide which medicine is best for you depending on:

●How high your blood pressure is
●Your other health problems, if you have any
●How well you do on the medicines you try
Your doctor or nurse might need to change your medicine or its dose a couple of times to find the medicine and dose that work best and cause the fewest side effects. Plus, you might need to take more than 1 medicine to get your blood pressure under control. Whatever your doctor or nurse prescribes, it's important to take your medicines exactly as prescribed. But always let your doctor or nurse know if you have any problems with the medicines. That way he or she can make changes so that you are as comfortable as possible and also get the most benefit. Never stop or make changes to the way you take your medicines without talking to your doctor or nurse first.

Below is a list of the most common types of medicine given to people with high blood pressure:

●Medicines called "diuretics"
●Medicines called "angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors" ("ACE inhibitors") or "angiotensin receptor blockers" ("ARBs")
●Medicines called "calcium channel blockers"
●Medicines called "beta blockers"
This article has only some basic information on these medicines.

Diuretics — Diuretics are sometimes called "water pills," because they make you urinate more than usual. Some examples of diuretics include chlorthalidone, indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide (also known as HCTZ), and furosemide (brand name: Lasix).

ACE inhibitors and ARBs — ACE inhibitors and ARBs are often grouped together, because they work in similar ways. These medicines can help prevent kidney disease. Doctors often prescribe them for people with diabetes, because people with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of kidney disease.

Some examples of ACE inhibitors include enalapril, captopril, and lisinopril. Some examples of ARBs include candesartan (brand name: Atacand) and valsartan (brand name: Diovan).

Calcium channel blockers — Some examples of calcium channel blockers include amlodipine (brand name: Norvasc), felodipine (brand name: Plendil), and diltiazem (brand name: Cardizem). These medicines also help prevent chest pain caused by heart disease.

Beta blockers — Besides lowering blood pressure, beta blockers help reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. Studies show that people who take a beta blocker after a heart attack are less likely to have another heart attack or die than people who don't take a beta blocker. Studies also show that people with heart failure who take beta blockers live longer than people with heart failure who don't.

When people first start taking beta-blockers, they sometimes feel tired. That is just while the body gets used to the medicine. But once the body gets used to beta blockers, the medicines can really help. If your doctor prescribes a beta blocker, give it a little time to start working.

Some examples of beta blockers include atenolol (brand name: Tenormin), metoprolol (brand names: Lopressor, Toprol-XL), and propranolol more  

View all 11 comments Below 11 comments
I think comments are not logically accepted , rather attempt are to justify the comments without realising the pragmatic approach of the same. Mydear sir please think positive and make comments realistic linked with neuro/ human behaviour to benefit all. more  
Thanks Dr Puneet for the information given regarding Arkamin and Amlong. Without offending Mr Sanjay for his comments, I think Mr Sanjay is incorrect in saying that such articles do not help common man. If one is suffering with some problem, he is very much interested in the detailed information regarding the medicines he is taking and some times based on such informative articles, he can further discuss the course of treatment with the doctor from whom he is being treated. Yes some more diagnostic information can be helpful. I have been following Dr Puneet's articles on cardiology, hypertension etc. These are very useful articles and we must thank Dr Puneet for such articles. We are lucky to have Dr Puneet in our group. Thanks and regards more  
I read the comments of Mr sanjeev bhatnagar , I think he is out of topic and starting from BP he suddenly entered in politics .It is clear we are all on habit of learning but tutor must be aware that he is telling the right thing to right people. If we start learning chemistry /medical chemistry as properties of alcohol/naoh or salt characteristics without knowing the full chemistry then I am sorry our time is waisted. Rather we if artfully link the BP characteristics with human behaviour and vital nureo part playing what and which extent then common men benefitted. So sir it is not deprived/unprivileged etc etc it is a art u must know how to elaborate and explain the mass to get benefits . more  
Dr. Puneet Chandna. Thanks. You perhaps forgot to reply for the second. more  
I am sorry. I can not stop my self to comment on the views of - Mr. Sanjay Kumar. I strongly believe - any sort of information is good for every body. Only problem in India (perhaps) - common / poor / deprived / minority / or any section divided by politicians - conveniently - say it is of no use for most. IF THESE PEOPLE DEVELOP THE HABIT OF LEARNING - AND TRY TO USE THE SAME FOR BETTERMENT OF THEMSELVES - RATHER HOPING OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE WILL DO FOR US. THEY WILL BE IN BETTER POSITION PERHAPS. more  
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