Blood Pressure Chart - Medicines
Deciding when you need medicines
If you have high blood pressure, you need to take action to bring it down.
This may not mean taking medicines right away. Your doctor or nurse may
prefer that you make some healthy lifestyle changes at first.
However, lifestyle changes may not lower your blood pressure enough on their
own. If this is the case, then your doctor or nurse may also decide that you also
need to take medicines.
Whether you need to take medicines also depends on your overall risk of heart
disease, stroke or other health problems. Other factors as well as high blood
pressure increase this risk, such as if:
-you have high cholesterol
-you have diabetes or kidney disease
-you have a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease
-you have any other medical condition that could affect the health of your
heart or blood vessels.
If any of these factors apply to you, your doctor or nurse may decide you need
to take blood pressure medicines sooner rather than later. By lowering your blood
pressure, you are lowering your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.
Types of blood pressure medicine.
There is a wide range of medicines available for high blood pressure. You can
take more than one type of medicine because they each lower your blood pressure
in different ways.
There are four main types of medicine that doctors use to treat high blood pressure:
these medicines help to control hormones that affect blood
pressure. Most of these medicines have names that end in ‘pril’.
2-Angiotensin receptor blockers (or ARBs):
these also control hormones that
affect blood pressure. Most of these medicines have names that end in ‘artan’.
these medicines make the artery walls relax,
making them wider, which lowers blood pressure. Most of these medicines
have names that in ‘pine’.
these medicines remove unwanted fluid from the body,
which helps lower blood pressure. Most of these medicines have names that
end in ‘ide’.
Until recently, medicines called called beta-blockers were often given to people
with high blood pressure. Beta-blockers are not usually given as a first choice
because the other types of medicine appear to be better at reducing your risk
of heart disease and stroke.
Beta-blockers are safe to use, so you do not need to worry if you are taking one.
You may like to discuss with your doctor or nurse if another medicine might be
better for you. However, there are times when beta-blockers can be useful, for
example if you have heart failure or angina.
Other types of medicine
There are other types of medicines which are not very commonly used, but which
can help to lower your blood pressure. Some examples of these are alpha-blockers,
vasodilators, or direct renin inhibitors.
These medicines may be used in special cases – for example if you are pregnant,
or if you cannot take the main blood pressure medicines already mentioned. Your
doctor or nurse will decide which medicines are best for you.
Taking more than one medicine
Many people will need to take more than one medicine to fully control their blood
pressure. This is because each medicine works in different ways. None of them
can control your blood pressure completely.
As one medicine lowers your blood pressure, your body may try to use another
way to raise it. You may then need to take other medicines to control your blood
pressure this way.
This means that some people with high blood pressure may need to take
two or three different medicines, or sometimes even more.
How your doctor chooses your medicines ?
Research shows that some types of medicine work better in different
types of people. Their effects can depend on your:
-medical problems (such as kidney disease or angina);
-medical history, for example which blood pressure medicines you have tried in the past
Of course, everyone is different. Some medicines will work better than others for
you. Your doctor and nurse will usually go through a number of steps to find the
right medicines for you
The first medicine you will take will depend on your age and ethnic origin.
If you are under 55 and do not have African-Caribbean origins, you will
probably start with an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker.
If you are 55 or older, or have African-Caribbean origins (but you are
not mixed race), you will probably start with a calcium-channel blocker
or thiazide diuretic.
You may find that one medicine on its own is not enough to lower your blood
pressure. Your doctor will then add a medicine from another group. This means that:
If you are already taking an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker,
you will also have to take a calcium-channel blocker or a thiazide diuretic.
If you are already taking a calcium-channel blocker or a thiazide diuretic,
you will also have to take an ACE inhibitor.
If you have to take three medicines, you will take an
ACE inhibitor (or an angiotensin receptor blocker) and
a calcium channel blocker and a thiazide diuretic.
Sometimes three types of medicine together
are still not enough to fully control a person’s
blood pressure. Your doctor may give you
another medicine or they may refer you to
Getting the most from your medicines
There is no cure for high blood pressure. This means that if you start taking
medicines, you will probably need to keep taking them for life. If you stop taking
them, your blood pressure will quickly rise again.
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your blood pressure medicines:
1 Accept your medicines
Remind yourself that your medicines are helping to keep your heart and
blood vessels healthy. Your body can’t do this on its own anymore.
2 Make them a part of your routine
Take your medicines at the same time every day. Your blood pressure will
usually be highest in the morning, so you could take them with breakfast.
3 Learn about your medicines
Read the information that comes with your medicines. If you have any
questions, ask your doctor or nurse, or your pharmacist.
4 Measure your blood pressure at home
If you measure your blood pressure at home you will be able to see the effect
that your medicines are having on your blood pressure.
5 Keep up with a healthy lifestyle
The more you can lower your blood pressure without medicines,
the less medicine you will need. A healthy lifestyle can also help
your medicines to work better.
Working with your doctor or nurse
When your doctor or nurse first gives you a medicine or changes your dose,
they will probably want to see you again in a few weeks. This is to make sure
that the medicines are working, and that you are not having any side effects.
If your blood pressure is still
high, they may give you a
higher dose, or give you another
medicine. Your doctor or nurse
will continue to monitor your
blood pressure closely until it
is under control.
If you take medicines for
high blood pressure, you
should be careful when
taking any other medicines,
whether they are prescription or
‘over-the-counter’ medicines, or even herbal remedies.
For example, some cold and flu remedies can raise your
blood pressure. Also, some painkillers, such as
ibuprofen, can make your blood pressure
medicines less effective.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice and always
speak to them about any new prescription or over-thecounter
medicines you are going to take.
Most people will be able to take their medicines without any problems.
However, a few people can have side effects from their medicines. Everyone
is different, and there is no way to tell whether you will have a side effect
from your medicine.
Most people who do have side effects will feel them soon after they start to
take a new medicine, or a higher dose of their medicine. If you start to feel
different after you start a new medicine speak to your doctor or nurse. They
may be able to change your dose, or try a different medicine.
Some side effects may wear off over time, or you may get used to them.
In all but a few rare cases, the
side effects of blood pressure
medicines are not dangerous.
You may be willing to put up
with them if they keep your blood
pressure under control and
protect you from a heart attack
Short Delay in Treating Blood Pressure Safe for Diabetics: Study
MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Waiting up to a year to treat high blood pressure in a person with diabetes is probably not harmful, but waiting many years to get blood pressure under control could result in serious complications, new research indicates.
Treating High Blood Pressure May Add Years to Life
TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- People suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension, who keep their blood pressure levels under control may add years to their life, a new study suggests.
Middle-age blood pressure changes affect lifetime heart disease, stroke risk
DALLAS, Dec. 19, 2011 - An increase or decrease in your blood pressure during middle age can significantly impact your lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.