The 9 Best Hypertension Medications, and How They Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension Medication

With one in three Indian adults experiencing some form of hypertension, this lifestyle disease has become much more common that one would imagine. The biggest problem with hypertension is often that it’s symptoms go unnoticed, and patients don’t start medication until it’s far too late.

Being aware of its symptoms, making any possible lifestyle changes, and getting started on a doctor recommended disease management plan can all help in making life with hypertension, much easier. Having an in-depth understanding of the medications that are prescribed for hypertension, and the factors that go in prescribing these can also assist in better disease management.

What Decides The Medication For High Blood Pressure?

There are a number of high blood pressure medications or hypertensive medications that are available in the market. They all come with their pros and cons, and your expert doctor can help prescribe the ones that are just right for you. Some doctors might prescribe a combination of different medicines, to treat your condition, just right. Some additional factors that your doctors take into account when deciding on your medications are your age, activity level and severity of your condition.

Following the doctor’s plan diligently and monitoring your blood pressure regularly, are the two best approaches to get your disease in control. There are many different high blood pressure medications (antihypertensives) available, each with pros and cons. Depending on the above factors, your expert doctor will prescribe one, or more of medications that will work for you. You might also be recommended to keep up with certain lifestyle changes, in order to keep your blood pressure under control.

Woman exercising and eating healthy to battle hypertension

What Are The Common Medicines Given To Hypertension Patients?

There are many ways in which hypertension medicine works. While some rid the body of excess water and sodium, lowering the overall blood pressure in the body, others ensure the heart pumps blood with less force. These include:

1. Diuretics
These are the most commonly prescribed high blood pressure medicine. They help the kidney to flush out excess water and sodium in the body. By doing this, there is a lesser amount of blood to pass through the vessels, lowering your BP. The most commonly prescribed variants of diuretics include thiazide, potassium-sparing and loop diuretics.

2. Beta-blockers 
These are medicines that function by blocking the actions of certain chemicals that can impact the body. When these processes are blocked, the heart pumps with less speed and force, reducing the blood pressure inside the body. Some examples of this include acebutolol, atenolol, betaxolol and so on.

3. ACE Inhibitors
This medicine functions by preventing the production of a hormone called angiotensin II. This hormone is responsible for the narrowing of blood vessels. Taking this medication will lower the risk of complications, as the blood vessels are not as constricted. Some examples of ACE inhibitors involve enalapril, lisinopril, and ramipril.

4. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
This class of medicines are also functioning, by disrupting the functioning of the angiotensin hormone that can narrow your blood vessels. But in this class of medicines, they work by preventing the binding of this hormone to its respective receptor site. This can, in turn, prevent the hormone from performing its usual function of narrowing the blood vessels and disruption blood flow. Some examples of these include candesartan, eprosartan and irbesartan.

5. Calcium Channel Blockers

In order for the body to keep moving, the smooth muscles need calcium to flow in and out of it. This medication works to ensure that excess of calcium doesn’t enter the smooth muscles of heart and blood vessels, in order to lower the blood pressure. Calcium Channel Blockers essentially helps the arteries to relax and open, lowering BP. Some examples of this include amlodipine, diltiazem, and nifedipine.

6. Alpha-blockers

In certain conditions, the body produces hormones called catecholamines, which partially bind with alpha-receptors in the body. This action can cause the blood vessels to narrow, and increase blood pressure. This class of medication works by blocking these hormones from binding to the alpha-receptors. This will make it easier for the blood to travel through your body, and the blood pressure will remain low and stable. Some examples of this medication include doxazosin and prazosin.

7. Combined Alpha and Beta-Blockers
This medication has a combined effect, as they block the binding of the catecholamine hormones to both alpha and beta receptors. This way, the constriction in the blood vessels is lowered and the rate and force of heartbeat also slow down. Some of the common ones include carvedilol and labetalol. 

8. Central Agonists
Central agonists are medications that prevent your brain from allowing signals that promote the creation of certain hormones. By doing this, these prevent the brain from sending signals to your nervous system to raise your heartbeat and narrowing blood vessels. This makes the function of the circulatory system, much easier.  Some common examples of this medication include clonidine, guanfacine and methyldopa.

9. Vasodilators
These are medications whose function is pretty obvious from its name. These medications prevent the tightening and narrowing of veins and arteries. Because of this function, blood flow will become easier, and the heart won’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body. Examples of this medication include hydralazine and minoxidil.

Summing up…

Depending on the stage of your hypertension, and taking into account any other conditions you may have, your doctor will prescribe one or more of the above medications. Make sure that you ask the right questions to your doctor so that you can follow the plan without any second thoughts. Discussions about side effects, interactions, and lifestyle changes are also a conversation that you need to have with your doctor.

Strictly following your doctor’s treatment plans, and making positive lifestyle changes can go a long way in effectively managing hypertension.

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