Medications to Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, has now become the most common disease and has been rightly declared as a silent killer. The advancement in medical science has given us hope to beat the silent killer. There are various ways in which you can measure your blood pressure, and with the help of that, you can categorise your hypertension to take your medications. High blood pressure leads to the risk of cardiovascular disease, which has become the talk of the town. But with the advancements of medicines in this sector, you can find yourself in relief. From the recent survey, hypertension medications can help you to lower the ten-year risk of cardiovascular disease by 20-30%.
- ACE Inhibitors
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- Combined Alpha And Beta-blockers
- Blood Vessel Dilators (Vasodilators)
- Primary Hypertension
- Secondary Hypertension
- Malignant Hypertension
- Resistant Hypertension
There are different types of medications to lower blood pressure which helps us during the hypertensive crisis:
It helps your body to get rid of an excessive amount of sodium and water (both of them creates a critical condition which makes the blood pressure rise), which will help your body to control hypertension.
It helps to reduce the heart’s workload and decreases the heartbeat, which ends up lowering high blood pressure.
3. ACE Inhibitors
Angiotensin is a chemical which makes the path in arteries in the whole body narrow, hence creating chaos and making the blood flow slow. ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) improves the blood vessels to open up and relax by helping the body to produce less angiotensin. It not only helps the blood to flow easily but also lowers the blood pressure.
4. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
Angiotensin II receptor blockers are drug work similar to ACE Inhibitors. Usually, angiotensin chemicals need a receptor to try to compress the blood vessel to make the pathway narrow. Which is when ARBs come for the rescue, they block these receptors to tighten the blood vessel, and the blood pressure remains in balance.
5. Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium seems to be very important to our body, but it has a disadvantage when it enters the smooth muscle cells of heart and arteries because it causes a stronger and harder contraction. When the calcium level decreases, the heart’s contraction force also decreases. This drug, therefore, helps to block the way of calcium to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.
6. Combined Alpha And Beta-blockers
This drug comes for rescue when there is a severe increase in blood pressure and has a high risk of heart failure.
7. Blood Vessel Dilators (Vasodilators)
Vasodilators help the muscle in the blood vessels to expand and allow the blood to flow better, which causes the balance in blood pressure.
Known as a silent killer, hypertension has different stages and can become undetectable if avoided. By being a bit vigilant, you can notice these stages and can balance your elevated blood pressure levels.
1. Primary Hypertension
It is also known as essential hypertension. It has no identifiable secondary cause and is the most common type of blood pressure affecting 85% of those with this disease. It’s not easy to detect primary hypertension.
Lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure levels as needed. Hence your doctor can prescribe you the following medicines:
- Beta-blockers (metoprolol)
- Calcium Channel blockers (Amlodipine)
- Diuretics (Hydrochlorothiazide)
- ACE Inhibitors (Captopril)
- Angiotensin II Receptor blockers (Losartan)
2. Secondary Hypertension
Only 5-10% of hypertension is secondary. It occurs more in younger people between 18-40 years. The blood pressure range will be a bit elevated, i.e. 130/90 is considered secondary hypertension. It is caused by conditions that affect your organs like the kidney, heart or endocrine system.
Lifestyle changes won’t be the only thing to reduce secondary hypertension. Your doctor might also suggest the following medicines to balance your blood pressure levels:
- Thiazide diuretics
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II Receptor blockers
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- Direct Renin Inhibitors (Aliskiren) (Sometimes combining the drugs also helps to cure the disease)
3. Malignant Hypertension
It is the most severe type of hypertension that tends to damage your organs. It is characterised by elevated BP levels of >180 mm Hg systolic or >120-130 mm Hg diastolic. It shouldn’t be avoided as it is considered an emergency condition, and immediate medical care should be given to a patient.
Lifestyle changes won’t be enough here. Hence your doctor will prescribe some medications for immediate relief. For malignant hypertension, the following medicines work the best.
- Vasodilators (Nitroprusside; Fenoldopam)
- Beta-blockers (Labetalol)
4. Resistant Hypertension
It is a type of hypertension that isn’t easy to control and occurs in 10% of hypertension cases. You might be taking medications, but usually, this type of hypertension doesn’t respond to medications.
Although dizziness isn’t the symptom of resistant hypertension, you should consult with a physician if you have frequent dizziness. The only best treatment for this would be medications. Hence if you are ever diagnosed with it, your doctor might prescribe you the following medications:
- Direct Vasodilators (Hydralazine; Minoxidil)
Medications to lower blood pressure give you a good lifestyle while keeping your blood pressure in check. It also decreases the chance of heart attack and stroke, which is common these days and makes your life more comfortable. However, the most and foremost thing to remember is that none of these medications should be consumed without the recommendation of your doctor or an expert cardiologist. Self-medication should be avoided, no matter what. One can meticulously control high blood pressure through an effective combination of doctor consultation, exercise, diet, medication and change in lifestyle.
Note of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.
1. What are common blood pressure medications?
Some of the common medications to lower blood pressure are as follows;
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
2. What is the best and safest medication for high blood pressure?
Methyldopa is known to work in lowering blood pressure through the central nervous system and has the least amount of side effects. It also has the lowest risk of harming pregnant women and their developing fetus. Other possible safe medications to lower blood pressure include labetalol, beta-blockers, and diuretics.
3. What is the best blood pressure medication with the least side effects?
Thiazide diuretics generally have fewer side effects than other medications. This is especially true when they’re prescribed in low doses.
4. What is the first drug of choice for hypertension?
Thiazide diuretics come under the most commonly prescribed medications to lower blood pressure. These drugs function by increasing the amount of fluid the body eliminates through urine.
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