Learn Hypertension Medication – Without Side Effects

There is a world of different medication used to treat hypertension. In fact, you could spend days, even months trying to research them all. A few of the common drug medications used to treat hypertension are different groups of ace inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers, diuretics (also called HCTZ), alpha blockers, beta blockers, and combination products (usually containing HCTZ and one other drug). Now the aim of anti-hypertensive drugs (drug medications used to treat high blood pressure) should be to lower blood pressure to <140/90 mmHg or lower for most patients.

One thing you must know is that all anti-hypertensive drugs have a side effect, that’s a fact. So if your blood pressure isn’t severe, it’s in your best interest to use other ways to treat your hypertension. Changes in your lifestyle are the best hypertension medication. Lifestyle changes like, weight loss, lowering alcohol intake, decreasing sodium (salt), increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and cutting back on smoking. These lifestyle changes are enough to reduce mildly elevated blood pressure without any additional treatment. For those without the luxury of just making a few lifestyle modifications, the only other option left is drug therapy. Though all anti-hypertensive drugs have negative effects, there are a few out there with minimum.

Thiazides or ACE-inhibitors are the first line of treatments for hypertensive patients, because compared to other anti-hypertensive drugs they have minimum side effects. Some guidelines state that patients over 55 years and African American patients should start on calcium blockers or thiazide diuretics, while younger patients of other ethnicity should begin drug treatment with ACE-inhibitors. Thiazide diuretics are effective and much more affordable than other drug medications. Thiazide diuretics also include negative effects, like hypercholesterolemia, and impaired glucose tolerance with consequent increased risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. When taking any anti-hypertensive drug it is recommended to take low doses. There is clear evidence showing that low doses decreases the potential of any negative effects.

Thiazides have been combined with a potassium agent, but it isn’t clear if this combination has an advantage over the use of low doses. However, diuretics in combination with potassium supplements or potassium sparers may show some favorable results. Serum potassium should be checked within 4 to 6 weeks of starting low-dose thiazide therapy. Beta-blockers are less effective compared to thiazides but can be used as an alternative or supplementary therapy to thiazide diuretics. Long acting dihydropyridine calcium antagonist drugs can be used for elderly hypertensive patients, but there is proof that long term efficiency and safety is lacking for many drugs in this group. Long acting dihydrpyridine calcium antagonists can be used as alternative therapy to thiazide diuretics or supplementary to other therapy, particularly in patients with isolated systolic hypertension. Short acting dihydropyridine calcium antagonists should be avoided, never use them, because there has been no study on how these can benefit you.