Have you ever tried changing your lifestyle in significant ways to help lower your blood pressure only to find it isn't helping very much? Sometimes lifestyle changes alone simply aren't as effective as when you combine them with blood pressure medication.
There are many different kinds of blood pressure medications out there
today. Commonly, two different medications are used rather than one
alone. Here are some of the main blood pressure medications:
This medicine reduces nerve impulses to your blood vessels allowing
easier flowing of the blood making your blood pressure decrease.
These work just like the alpha-blockers but also slow your heart beat.
This means less blood pumps through your vessels making your blood
System Inhibitors: This medication relaxes your blood
vessels by controlling the nerve impulses making your vessels wider and
decreasing blood pressure.
These reduce your nerve impulses to your heart and blood vessels,
making your heart beat decrease while dropping your blood pressure.
Cartrol (carteolol hydrochloride)
Levatol (penbutolol sulfate)
Lopressor and Toprol XL (metoprolol)
Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate)
Normodyne and Trandate (labetolol)
These are also known as "water pills", and are a very common
medication. These diuretics work in your kidney, flushing out all
excess sodium along with water from your body.
Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, and Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ)
Hygroton and Thalitone (chlorthalidone)
Midamor (amiloride hydrochloride)
Mykrox and Zaroxolyn (metolazone)
• Vasodilators: These open your blood vessels directly by relaxing the muscle in your
vessel walls which then causes your blood pressure to decrease.
• ACE Inhibitors: ACE stands for "Angiotensin converting
enzyme". These inhibitors prevent a hormone called
angiotensin II from forming, which will usually cause your blood
vessels to narrow. They help the vessels relax which makes your blood
Angiotensin Antagonists: These block your blood vessels
from angiotensin II. When blocked these vessels can widen letting your
blood pressure decrease.
• Calcium Channel Blockers: These keep any calcium from entering
your heart's muscle cells and your blood vessels causing your blood
pressure to decrease.
Adalat and Procardia (nifedipine)
Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan, and others (verapamil)
Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, and Tiazac (diltiazem)
An alternative to taking any medication if possible is taking a closer look at a few particular lifestyle habits.
For instance a healthy diet can help control your blood pressure. You
can substitute salt for other seasonings and add lots of fresh fruits
and vegetables to your diet.
You should get at least thirty minutes of physical activity or exercise
a day. That doesn't mean you have to exercise thirty minutes all at
once. Ten minutes here and there can be just as effective.
Try to keep your stress level at a minimum. High
stress can increase your blood pressure so find something that relaxes you and
helps you de-stress. Do this whenever you find yourself stressed out beyond your means.
One good way to get exercise AND lower stress is through yoga.
Try to cut back on tobacco use and alcohol consumption. If you can stop smoking altogether, that will
be more beneficial but it isn't always easy. Remember there are many
resources and products available to help you quit either of these
Unfortunately even though they can be critical for both lowering blood pressure and improving general healh, sometimes these
lifestyle changes will not work alone. Your doctor might prescribe you a blood pressure
medication if not two. Just talk with your doctor to find out what
would be better for you and your blood pressure. Ask any and all
questions and if you are taking other medications tell your doctor.
Certain medications including oral contraceptives and cold medicines,
for example, can increase your blood pressure.
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