When you are diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) and your doctor recommends medication, the treatment options can be overwhelming. Medicines are rarely, if ever, prescribed at this point. If your blood pressure is higher than 130/ 80 but lower than 140/ 90 mm Hg, your doctor might recommend medications to treat high blood pressure while making lifestyle changes at the same time. If you already have other ailments or risk factors, your doctor may be inclined to prescribe medicines together as well.
Some of the more common high blood pressure medicines are diuretics, a beta-blocker, anticoagulants, antihypertensives, antiplatelets, calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Of these, the use of diuretics is often most common. Diuretics reduce fluid production, causing urine to be concentrated at a low rate. This reduces fluid retention, which, in turn, causes a reduction in swelling.
Other high blood pressure treatments are usually not prescribed unless your doctor may specifically recommend them. Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the blood vessels, preventing the constriction of the blood vessels. They also reduce the force that is exerted on the heart by slowing its movement. Antiplatelets reduce the force that is exerted on the legs when walking, as well as prevent blood platelets from being damaged. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors reduce the amount of histamine that is released from the body and are commonly used to treat various conditions such as asthma, certain cancers, and arthritis.
Depending on how you react to your medications, you may have to try more than one type of treatment to successfully treat high blood pressure. If you are taking medication for any other condition besides hypertension, talk to your doctor about trying different approaches to treat this condition. Some side effects can be dangerous, so you should always check with your doctor before stopping any prescribed treatment. You may find that it is necessary to adjust your medications in order to get the best results. Your doctor will make the decision about what to do if you fail to respond successfully to their treatments.
Heart attacks are another reason people seek the help of a doctor to treat high blood pressure problems. While a heart attack is definitely a serious condition, it is not always life-threatening. However, sudden death can occur if the person suffering from a heart attack does not receive medical attention right away. Therefore, always check with your doctor about using any of the new heart monitor devices that are on the market. Some of these monitors actually measure your heart rate on its own and can save your life if an attack occurs.
Finally, if you smoke, you must quit smoking if you want to avoid the serious consequences that tobacco use can bring. Cigarette smoke increases the risk of heart attack and stroke significantly, and it can even lead to coronary disease. Therefore, quitting smoking is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make. Many physicians recommend that smokers try to stop before they experience adverse health consequences.
Use of certain beta blockers and other cardiovascular disease medication can also be harmful if taken in combination with high blood pressure medicines. Beta blockers can decrease the force of blood through your heart by limiting the amount of blood pumped to your muscles. This can prevent muscle spasms and constriction, two conditions that are associated with hypertension. However, some beta blockers can increase your heart rate even more, putting you at greater risk for a heart attack. Therefore, make sure you get your doctor’s advice before combining beta blockers with other drugs.
High blood pressure medicines are designed to control and reduce the amount of force that your heart takes during routine activities. If you’re already taking these medicines, it’s a good idea to discuss alternative treatment options with your doctor. Lifestyle changes can go a long way toward keeping your health improved without the use of prescription medicines. However, you need to take these steps even when you’re not experiencing symptoms of high blood pressure, as even healthy people can have this condition.