How Safe is Your Blood Pressure Medication?

March 5, 2007 by  

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By Stan Kitchen

Sometimes, you can treat high blood pressure with a simple change of diet, exercise and lifestyle. Other cases are not so simple to resolve, and the doctor may prescribe a high blood pressure medication. The particular medication will depend on other key factors, such as the severity of your high blood pressure condition. It would also depend on any other existing medical conditions.

Know Your Medications

There are many aspects of blood pressure medications to consider for treating the condition. While your doctor is the one who will decide the treatment, you should have some knowledge about the various medications. For example, how they react or interact with other conditions or medications. Visiting the local pharmacy can help answer questions or concerns before approaching your doctor, but information is the key.

While most people treated for blood pressure don’t need other medications for another medical condition, some do. When taking more than one blood pressure medication, it’s important to make sure those medications would not conflict with one another other. Also, let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before he prescribes a particular one for you.

Other Health Problems

If you have high blood pressure and have no other ailments, the doctor will more than likely prescribe a blood pressure medication such as thiazide-type diuretics. This medication suits those without other medical problems. Thiazide-type diuretics have been proven to not only lower blood pressure, but also to prevent heart attacks and strokes. They are less expensive than other high blood pressure drugs. And these diuretics are the most common of first drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure. You only need to take most of these medications once a day.

Other blood pressure medication such as a beta-blocker can reduce risk of strokes or heart attacks. They help protect hearts weakened by coronary artery disease. Similarly, enzyme inhibitors help to protect the kidneys for those suffering from diabetes and kidney insufficiency as well. Enzyme inhibitors also protect the heart after a major heart attack or if you have congestive heart failure.

Calcium channel blockers help people suffering from angina. Similarly, alpha-blockers improve blood levels of certain fats. For those suffering from other medical conditions, such as diabetes or congestive heart failure or angina, the doctor will most likely prescribe a beta-blocker. Doctors will also consider the age of the patient. Often, medications in seniors react differently than in younger and more healthy patients.

What are the side effects?

As with any blood pressure medication, side effects can occur. They include, but are not limited to, increased need to urinate, difficulty sleeping and dizziness. Other side effects can be some sexual dysfunction in men, nasal stuffiness or headaches.

Many people use blood pressure medication and never experience these side effects, so don’t let the fear of them stop you from taking the medication. Work with your doctor to find the right medication with the least amount of side effects for your specific condition. No matter which blood pressure medication the doctor prescribes, it is important to follow instructions to the letter.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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