Drugs That Can Cause Hypertension

Apart from essential secondary and remediable hypertension, drugs can also be the main cause of hypertension. But in many cases this occurs in persons taking hypertension causing medications without any physician or pharmacist consent. This is because these medications are generally available over the counter, and can be purchased at any pharmacy outlet or through a pharmacy online service.

Drugs that can cause hypertension:

The medications that can cause hypertension include oral contraceptives, sympathomimetics, amphetamines, NSAIDs, steroids, caffeine and MAOIs.

The most common class of drug that causes hypertension is the oral contraceptives. It is a rough estimate that around 5% of the hypertension patients are having it due to oral use of contraceptives. However this is not so intense in many cases, women may using contraceptives show a small measurable increase in their blood pressures. That it is around 10/5 mmHg increase in the blood pressures during the first two years of oral use of contraceptive pills.

The common factors that cause an increased incidence of oral contraceptive induced hypertension include age over 35 years, a family history of hypertension, obesity and smoking. The latter two of these factors can be modified, but the former cannot be altered. In this hypertension, the main role is that of estrogen although the type and amount of progestin also seems to be influencing the effect on blood pressure.

This is thought to be caused through stimulation of the renin angiotensin-aldosterone system and the retention of sodium and fluid in the body. This type of hypertension is usually reversible within 1 to 8 months after the termination of therapy.

The best way to prevent the oral contraceptive induced hypertension is to check the blood pressure every 6 months and by using the smallest possible dose of the contraceptive agents. Women who are at a higher risk of getting hypertension need to use alternative ways of contraception, for which they have to consult the doctor, pharmacist or the pharmacy online counseling.

Other medications that are important in this aspect include non prescription sympathomimetics. The usage of these agents especially ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine and phenylephrine may cause hypertension. These are available in many medications available as OTC products and can be purchased through pharmacy online without any prescription but should be asked for the correct use from the pharmacists. Especially phenylpropanolamine can cause an increase in the blood pressure and may also cause intracranial hemorrhage. A double dose of this drug can increase the bp peaking to around 175/100 mmHg.

The effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on elevated blood pressure are well demonstrated, as these elevate the supine blood pressure by up to 5 mmHg. These can also antagonize the effects of beta blockers, diuretics and vasodilators.

Others that cause hypertension are Cyclosporine is also a medicine that may elevate the blood pressure by vasoconstriction and sodium retention. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors and steroids may also cause hyper elevation of the blood pressures in many users. Caffeine present in many OTC medications can also cause bp elevations in long term use.

Hypertension Medications – Which Drugs Work Best to Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Hypertension medications have evolved over the years and there are a number of different drugs that can now be taken. In this article, I’ll explain who should take hypertension drugs and the commonly prescribed ones that your doctor may advise you to take.

Who Should Take Drugs For Hypertension?

It is always better to consider lifestyle changes first such as losing a little weight and reducing the salt in your diet. If these do not work or your hypertension appears to be genetic then your doctor will advise you to use drugs.

It is also worth mentioning that there are a number of natural remedies that you should also consider before turning to drugs. Although you are unlikely to suffer from any severe side effects, drugs must be taken daily for the rest of your life.

ABCD

“ABCD” is the terminology used by doctors to describe the most common drug pairings that are prescribed to those with hypertension.

Specifically, you would be prescribed one of ACEIs or beta blockers plus one of CCBs or diuretics.

Diuretics

These make you urinate more often and rid the body of sodium and lower the arterial pressure due to lost fluids.

ACEIs

These stop an enzyme in your kidneys from eventually causing your arteries to contract. Prevention of contraction means that your blood pressure cannot increase in this manner.

Beta Blockers

Nobody knows exactly how these work but they do have a definite effect on reducing blood pressure. It could be due to lower levels of stress.

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)

Like ACEIs, these drugs stop the arterial walls contracting but via a different mechanism.

Calcium-Channel Blockers For Hypertension

All hypertensive patients who are undergoing an anti-hypertensive treatment agree on one goal – and that is to lower their high blood pressure. One of the controversial medications is the calcium-channel blockers.

Calcium-channel blockers, or sometimes referred to as calcium blockers, have been around lately in the field of anti-hypertensive drugs. Debates recently have stirred the efficiency of this product due to risk reasons. But just how effective really are calcium-channel blockers?

This drug takes its name from its working effect of soothing the blood vessels muscles and reducing the pumping power of the heart. These results in continuous and no restricted flow of blood thereby lowering the blood pressure. Some forms of calcium-channel blockers like diltiazem and verapamil are examples of these drugs that slow the rate of the heart.

Calcium-channel blockers can be used as a stand alone treatment or in combination with other anti-hypertensive agents like diuretics. Calcium-channel blockers work very well with African American hypertension patients, elder patients, and people who have hard time decreasing their sodium consumption. Patients with angina or a severe inflammatory or ulcerated condition of the mouth or throat may also find calcium blockers to be beneficial. These drugs also improve condition of people with coronary artery disease.

Potential side effects are triggered by calcium-channel blockers and among these are:

* Slow heart rate

* Constipation

Advances in medicine and recent studies however challenge the potency of calcium-channel blockers as relief medication to hypertension. Its popularity among the other drugs and its apparently low number of side effects did not escape calcium blockers from these controversies.

In the United States, it is estimated that about six million Americans dose with calcium blockers as medication. Scientists came up recently with articles stating that these drugs are indicative of higher risks towards heart attack. It even worsens angina and develops irregular heartbeat or arrhythmias according to the article. These claims were supported by a publication in 1995 called the Top Ten Medical Advances.

Studies printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and in Circulation say that not all of the calcium-channel blockers available commercially are alike. Furthermore, it said that this agent contains what is called nifedipine which turned out to be risking factor of most heart attack cases.

The effect of nifedipine is unfavorable. Instead of reversing the rise of blood pressure, it may even promote hypertension. This is so, according to scientists, because calcium-channel blockers’ ability to reduce blood pressure may cause sudden impact to body. In this state, the body overreacts and heightens the production of adrenaline which ultimately results in heart rate speeding up.

These speculations however remain to be proven. The absence of evidence that hook the dreadful effects of nifedipine and calcium-channel blockers and the limitation of nifedipine presence have led manufacturers to come up with an updated formulation of these drugs that are tagged as longer-acting and gentler agents.