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Most Prescribed Drugs for Hypertension

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 12:45 AM

Medication to reduce high blood pressure or hypertension is necessary as ignoring it can lead to severe consequences. Many types or classes of drugs have been researched, tested, and are being used over years to reduce high blood-pressure values. The type of medication and dosage purely depend on:
  • How high is the blood pressure as compared to the normal range?
  • Medical history and general medical condition of the patient.
Five classes of hypertension drugs are used. Each class of drugs has a different chemical structure and thus a different mode of action. The way that these reduce high blood pressure depends on their structure and hence a physician suggests medication to complement the health condition of the patient. Not all hypertension patients can be given the same drug or the same dosage of similar drugs. Let's discuss the five classes of drugs used as medication for hypertension.

 
Angiotensin Converter Enzyme Inhibitor Drugs or ACE Inhibitor Drugs

Angiotensin II is synthesized in the blood by our body and under normal conditions this helps in the constriction of blood vessels. ACE inhibitor drugs block the enzyme that helps in the conversion of metabolite to angiotensin II and thus reduces its levels in the blood. The reduced angiotensin keeps the blood vessels dilated and hence less pressure is felt on the walls. Hence, the blood pressure values also get reduced as a result of this receptor inhibiting function of ACE inhibitor drugs.

Some of these medications are:
    • Captopril
    • Trandolapril
    • Ramipril
    • Perindopril
    • Enalapril
This class of drugs is especially useful for patients also having heart diseases or diabetes along with high blood pressure. Irritating cough is a side effect of prolonged use of this medication.


Angiotensin Receptor Blocker Drugs

Angiotensin II is a kind of receptor present on the walls of the blood vessels. Angiotensin blockers help reduce high blood pressure values because of their similar structure to angiotensin II enzyme. They work by blocking these receptors and hampering their function.

Some of these medications are:
    • Eprosartan
    • Irbesartan
    • Valsartan
    • Telmisartan etc.
Dizziness might be caused due to prolonged use of these medications.


Calcium Channel Blockers

This medication works on the calcium channels present in the walls of the blood vessels and blocks the normal process of absorption of calcium. When less calcium gets absorbed, the blood vessels remain dilated and the blood pressure values reduce. Constipation, swollen ankles, and facial flushing are common side effects of diuretics.

Some of these medications are:
    • Amlodipine
    • Diltiazem
    • Felodipine
    • Nicardipine
This class of drugs, due to its mode of action, is also used to dilate blood vessels in angina patients.


Diuretics

These drugs have an indirect mode of action. They help one pass more salts and water in the urine than normal and thus reduce the overall volume of blood flowing through the blood vessels. Therefore, these medications are helpful in hypertension.

Some of these medications are:
    • Bendroflumethiazide
    • Chlortalidone
    • Cyclopenthiazide
    • Indapamide
Tiredness, poor sleep, and impotence can be noticed as side effects of these medications.


Beta Blocker Drugs

These drugs work to reduce the heart rate, thus automatically working towards reducing high blood pressure. Those with heart diseases are never prescribed this drug.
Some of these medications are:
    • Bisoprolol
    • Pindolol
    • Acebutolol
    • Atenolol etc.
Antihypertensive medications are the best way to bring down high blood pressure to normal range. This helps avoid serious consequences and improve the lives of hypertension patients. The only caution required is to carefully follow the medication (drug and dosage) as advised by the physician to reduce high blood pressure.

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Health-Wire
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disease. Today not only the elderly but also younger age groups are falling prey to this disease. When the pressure of the blood flowing in the capillaries in the body exceeds its normal and natural levels, it exerts greater pressure on the walls.
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