5 Most Common High Blood Pressure Medications

There are a number of different medications available that can be prescribed to reduce high blood pressure. Here are the five that are most commonly prescribed. Remember that your doctor is the best source of information for finding medication to suit your needs.

1. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor: ACE Inhibitors work by expanding and relaxing blood vessels, helping blood flow easier and making the heart work more efficiently. This type of medication is used to treat symptoms of heart failure and lower blood pressure. Side effects may include rash or itching, allergy-like symptoms and dry cough.

2. Diuretics: Diuretics act with your kidneys to help your body flush out excess water and sodium. These may sometimes be combined with other blood pressure medication. It is important to eat foods high in potassium, such as bananas, or take potassium tablets, as diuretics sometimes eliminate potassium from the body. Side effects may include leg cramping, fatigue and decreased potassium levels.

3. Beta Blockers: Beta blockers work by decreasing you heart rate, lowering blood pressure and minimizing the hearts workload. Blood sugar levels should be monitored carefully when taking beta blockers, as your heart rate may not increase if you have a low blood sugar level. Side effects may include fatigue, insomnia, depression and asthma.

4. Angiotensin-2 Receptor Antagonists: This type of medication works similar to ACE inhibitors; by blocking the action of the natural chemical that narrows blood vessels and preventing blood pressure from rising. This medication is often better tolerated than ACE inhibitors, as it may produce less cough. Side effects include dizziness, decreased kidney function and increased potassium levels.5. Calcium Channel Blockers: Calcium Channel Blockers interrupt calcium from moving into your heart and blood vessels and relaxing the blood vessels. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, grapefruit juice may interact with calcium channel blockers, increasing blood levels and increasing the risk of suffering side effects. Side effects may include constipation, headache, drowsiness and nausea.If youre having trouble reaching your blood pressure goals with these medications, you should speak with your doctor about your other options, as well as include lifestyle changes that may help reduce high blood pressure.Reference URL1. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3044770 2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/DS00100/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
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