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What is high blood pressure hypertension? High blood pressurealso known as hypertensionaffects nearly a third of all Americans. With hypertension, too much force is exerted on the arteries as blood is pumped through. This not only in damage to the blood vessels themselves, but to other organs forced to bear the stress.
Blood pressure is assessed using two parameters -- the systolic and diastolic pressures -- which measure, respectively, the maximum pressure exerted in the arteries as the heart contracts, and the minimum pressure in those vessels between cardiac contractions. In adults, blood pressure is considered normal if the top systolic pressure is between 90 and and the bottom diastolic is between 60 and High blood pressure medication list.
There are several classes of blood pressure medications. Each class lowers blood pressure in a different way. Diuretics increase urination which reduces sodium and fluid in the body.
That can help lower blood pressure because it lowers blood volume. Mild hypertension can sometimes be treated using diuretics alone, although they are more commonly used in combination with other high blood pressure medications. Examples of diuretics include:. One side effect of diuretics is a loss of potassiumwhich is carried out of the body in urine along with the sodium.
Potassium is needed for proper muscular movement and a deficiency of this mineral can result in fatigueweakness, Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness cramps, and even problems with the heart. So often, patients on traditional diuretics will be advised to take their medication with a potassium-rich foodsuch as orange juice or a banana, or they'll be prescribed a potassium supplement. Some diuretics were subsequently developed to address the issue of potassium loss. These blood pressure medications are known as "potassium-sparing" diuretics. They include amiloride Midamorspironolactone Aldactoneand triamterene Dyrenium.
Finally, there are the combination diuretics, which include a potassium-sparing agent and a traditional diuretic. Beta blockers. Beta-blockers lower blood pressure by acting directly on the heart. These high blood pressure medications reduce heart rate and force of pumping, as well as reduce blood volume. Beta-blockers include:. ACE inhibitors. Angiotensin is a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow. The angiotensin-converting enzyme ACE inhibitors decrease the production of angiotensin and, in turn, that helps lower blood pressure.
Examples of ACE inhibitors include:. Angiotensin II receptor blockers. The hormone angiotensin narrows blood vessels, but to do its job it needs a place to bind. That's where angiotensin II receptor blockers come in. They prevent angiotensin from binding to receptors on the blood vessels and that helps lower blood pressure. Angiotensin II receptor blockers include:. Calcium channel blockers. Calcium increases Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness strength and force of contractions in the heart and blood vessels.
Blocking its entry into smooth muscle tissue reduces this effect. Calcium channel blockers lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and reducing heart rate. Examples of calcium channel blockers include:. Alpha blockers. Alpha-blockers cause blood vessels to dilatethereby lowering blood pressure. These medications are also used to treat prostate enlargement in men. Alpha-blockers include. Alpha-2 receptor agonist. Methyldopaformerly known under the brand name Aldometis one of the oldest blood pressure medications still in use. Central agonists. Some hypertension medications work in the central nervous system rather than directly on the cardiovascular system.
Central agonists thus have a tendency to cause drowsiness. Drugs in this class include. Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors. There was a time when the high blood pressure medication list was very short indeed. In the s, reserpine was one of the few products on the market to treat hypertension. It is rarely used due to its numerous side effects and drug interactions. The peripheral adrenergic inhibitors work in the brain to block als that tell blood vessels to constrict. They are mostly used when other high blood pressure medications fail to solve the problem. The peripheral adrenergic inhibitors include.
Vasodilators relax artery wall muscles, and that causes blood pressure to drop. These drugs are usually not used alone -- and, in the case of Minoxidil Loniten -- used only in severe hypertension. The vasodilators include. What are the most common blood pressure medications?
In terms of dollar sales, recent statistics put the angiotensin II receptor blocker valsartan Diovan in the lead for high blood pressure medications, followed by the beta blocker metoprolol, the generic combination of valsartan and HCTZ, olmesartan Benicarand olmesartan and HCTZ Benicar HCT. In terms of Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness written, the ACE inhibitor lisinopril Prinivil, Zestril tops the list, followed by amlodipine besylate Norvasca calcium channel blockerand generic hydrochlorothiazide HCTZ. What is the best high blood pressure medication?
Selecting the "best" high blood pressure medication depends on several things, including the general health of the patienthis or her age, ethnicity, and whether or not they have any co-existing medical issues or drug sensitivities. For example, in a hypertensive patient with asthmait may be inadvisable to prescribe a beta-blocker, as these drugs can aggravate that respiratory condition. Similarly, in patients prone to constipation the elderly, for example use of certain calcium channel blockers might best be avoided -- along with diuretics -- as both these classes of drugs can inhibit proper bowel function.
African-American patients respond to some antihypertensive medications better than others. Certain groups of patients require the use of a specific class of high blood pressure medication. These include:. The drug of choice for hypertensive, pregnant women is one of the oldest high blood pressure medications on the market.
Methyldopa, which works to lower blood pressure through the central nervous system, has the lowest risk of harming the mother and developing fetus. Other possible safe options include labetalol, beta-blockers, and diuretics. Two Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness of drugs that should never be used during pregnancy include ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. Hypertension in African-Americans tends to occur earlier in life and tends to be more severe. Plus, some medications that work to lower blood pressure in other ethnicities may have limited effect on African-Americans.
Thiazide diuretics such as HCTZ or a calcium channel blocker are recommended first choices along with the possible add-on of a second drug from either the ACE inhibitor class or the angiotensin II receptor blocker group. With age, comes an increased risk for systolic hypertension which can be aggravated by severe atherosclerosis. According to one study, the diuretic chlorthalidone Hygroton had ificant benefits in elderly patients with systolic hypertension.
Along with a diuretic, some calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers may also be good choices. However, beta-blockers may not be as effective for hypertension in those over 60; though they may be good choices if co-existing heart disease is Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness. It also may be preferable in elderly patients to give two high blood pressure medications at a low dose versus one at a higher dose. What are common high blood pressure side effects?
Diuretics can lead to an increase in potassium loss, known as hypokalemiawhich, in turn, can affect muscular function -- including the muscles of the heart. There is also an increased risk for gout with diuretics -- as well as the possibility of weakness, thirst, dehydrationand increased urination.
Changes in blood sugar levels are also possible.
Skin reactions, some severe, are possible with thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide. Potassium-sparing diuretics, such as spironolactone Aldactone may cause breast enlargement in males.
Beta-blockers cause the heart to slow down and so some of their side effects can be traced to that mechanism of action. Dizzinessweakness, fatigue, and fainting are possible. Beta-blockers also affect the respiratory systemso other side effects include shortness of breathdifficulty breathingand chest pain.
Beta-blockers should not be withdrawn suddenly, as that could result in a heart attack or sudden death. The most common side effect from ACE Inhibitors is also an unusual one -- a dry cough. Usually, it goes away with continued use of the drug, but that could take weeks. ACE Inhibitors could reduce blood pressure too much, resulting in hypotension which could, in turn, lead to headachedizziness, fainting, and reduced kidney function.
The most common side effect from the angiotensin receptor blockers ARBs is an increased potassium level in the blood, known as hyperkalemia. Dizziness is also common, along with fatigue. Upper respiratory tract infections have also been reported -- along with gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomach Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness diarrhea.
Up to a third of patients may experience the following side effects with calcium channel blockers: Swelling of the ankles and other extremities, flushing, and dizziness. Other common side effects include heartburn and nausea. A common, transient, but distressing initial side effect of the alpha-blockers is postural hypotension. This is a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing up. It can be severe enough to cause dizziness or even fainting.
Also, alpha-blockers can result in increased heart rate, headache, nausea, and weakness. Methyldopa is Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness well-tolerated, but some patients may experience dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, headache, and dry mouth.
Other common side effects include constipation, dizziness, and local skin reactions with the use of the Catapres-TTS skin patch. Reserpine use is linked with possible side effects including nightmares, stuffy nosedepressionand an inability to fall asleep. Diarrhea and heartburn are also possible.
Guanadrel and guanethidine can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues — as well as dizziness and drowsiness. Taking minoxidil might result in excessive body hair growth, as well as weight gain and dizziness. Hydralazine is linked to headaches, heart palpitationsswelling around the eyes, and aches and pains in the ts.Blood pressure medication side effects dizziness
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