Treatment options for hypertension usually include lifestyle adjustments and medications. Depending on your age and your condition, your doctor will suggest the best treatment for you.
Common medications for hypertension are:
Also known as water pills, diuretics lowers your blood pressure by helping the kidneys eliminate water and salt. Diuretics often increase urination.
Beta blockers work by opening your blood vessels, decreasing your heart rate, thus reduce the workload for your heart. Acebutolol (Sectral) and atenolol (Tenormin) are the most common types of beta blockers. Beta blockers should be prescribed with other medications to reach the maximum effects.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These drugs prevent blockage forming inside the blood vessels, keeping them wide and clear. People who suffer from chronic kidney disease will need ACE inhibitors.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
ARBs work in the same way as ACE inhibitors. If the patient does not respond well to ACE inhibitors, ARBs are usually recommended as a replacement.
Calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers widen your blood vessels, thus reducing the pressure on them. Possible side effects are a migraine, swollen joints, and constipation. These pills should not be taken with grapefruit juice since it may elevate your risk of getting side effects.
Renin inhibitors hinder renin production, which is responsible for increased blood pressure. It is advisable not to take renin inhibitors with ACE inhibitors or ARBs to avoid serious complications.
In addition to the drugs above, you may need to take some other medications to reach the ideal blood pressure levels, which are:
- Alpha blockers to reduce nerve impulses,
- Alpha-beta blockers to slow the heart rate and the amount of blood coming through the vessels,
- Central-acting agents to prevent your nervous system from increasing your heart rate,
- Vasodilators to keep the artery walls from tightening,
- Aldosterone antagonists to reduce salt and water retention.
For people with high blood pressure, positive changes in their lifestyle is a must. No matter what kinds of medications you are taking, if you do not adjust your lifestyle, your condition will not improve. Recommended changes are:
- Adopting a healthy and less salty diet,
- Exercising regularly,
- Limiting your consumption of alcohol and tobacco,
- Keep your weight under control.
Hypertension is a manageable condition. Adjusting your lifestyle and taking medications can help to keep you healthy. It is important to schedule regular doctor visits for follow-ups, even when you have reached the ideal blood pressure levels.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 9, 2017 | Last Modified: January 9, 2017
High blood pressure (hypertension). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/treatment/con-20019580. Assessed October 8, 2016.
Treatments for high blood pressure (hypertension). http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-pressure-(high)/Pages/Treatment.aspx. Assessed October 8, 2016.