The ultimate goal of any high blood pressure medication is to help you attain a target range:
There are five types of high blood pressure medication. Doctors will decide which ones and which combinations work best for you on an individual consultation. There is no optimum blanket prescription combination that covers the HBP community at large:
By restricting the amount of angiotensin II (a chemical produced in your bloodstream), blood vessels are relaxed, allowing them to widen and thus drop the pressure of the blood against the vessel’s walls.
ACE inhibitors are particularly prescribed for people who also suffer from heart failure or diabetes. People with kidney or artery problems and pregnant women should consult with their doctor about whether ACE inhibitors are right for you.
Also called angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, these work similarly to ACE inhibitors by blocking the tightening effect caused by angiotensin II, thus allowing for vessel relaxation and widening.
By altering the way calcium is used inside the heart and blood vessels, relaxation is achieved in both, thus dropping the blood pressures. They can also treat angina.
By increasing the amount of salt and fluid you pass during urination, excess fluid in blood circulation is reduced which in turn, reduces blood pressure. Doses are normally low so urine amounts aren’t affected. Further, Diuretics can also relax blood vessels similar to ACE inhibitors.
By reducing the rate and force of the heart, blood pressure is lowered. While Beta-blockers can be used to treat angina, they should never be used by those with obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or other heart and blood vessel related problems.
Side effects are a part of all medication and this rings true with high blood pressure medication as well. But as far as side effects go, high blood pressure medication has a low occurrence rate and most do not experience any side effects at all or only mild ones. Always be sure to check the leaflet that comes with your medication, not just for high blood pressure medication.
The good news is that if side effects develop from high blood pressure medication, they can be stopped simply by switching types of medications. Your doctor will work with you to limit and if possible, eliminate any and all side effects you may develop from taking high blood pressure medication.
In about half of HBP cases, one form of the above medications is able to reduce blood pressure on its own. More commonly, two forms of the above medications are used and in approximately one third of cases, three or more are required.
Which high blood pressure medication combination your doctor prescribes will be based on a number of factors such as ethnicity, sex, age, weight, allergies, other medical conditions, etc. As such, there is no one specific optimum combination. It is tailored specifically to you.
Certain high blood pressure medications can also be used to treat other ailments such as beta and calcium channel blocker being used to treat angina or ACE inhibitors used for heart failure.
While effective in most people, some will not see their target level attained despite treatment from high blood pressure medication. Still, any reduction is healthy. Talk with your doctor about possibly changing combinations.
Knowing that tailored combinations are the norm, here is the general approach for treatment of high blood pressure through prescription medication:
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.