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Choosing the right high blood pressure medication can be tricky. Find out which of the various drug options is appropriate for you.
Dozens of high blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives) are available, each with pros and cons. Your doctor might prescribe more than one high blood pressure medication to treat your condition.
If you have high blood pressure or are at risk of developing it, lifestyle changes can help keep your numbers under control. But you might need medication, as well. Having an effective medication regimen, taking drugs as prescribed, monitoring your blood pressure and making lifestyle changes can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
Whether you're beginning to develop high blood pressure (prehypertension) or you already have it (hypertension), you can benefit from lifestyle changes that can lower your blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate your need for medications to control your blood pressure.
If a trial of making lifestyle changes isn't enough to control your blood pressure, you'll likely receive a prescription for one or more of these medications in addition to maintaining your lifestyle measures.
Diuretics (water pills). Your doctor might first suggest diuretics, which remove excess water and sodium from your body. That decreases the amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels, which reduces pressure on your vessel walls.
There are three types of diuretics: thiazide, loop and potassium-sparing. The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends that most people try thiazide diuretics first to treat high blood pressure and heart problems related to high blood pressure.
If diuretics aren't enough to lower your blood pressure, your doctor might recommend adding other blood pressure medications to your treatment.
Beta blockers. Also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, these work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. They cause your heart to beat slower and with less force.
Frequently prescribed beta blockers include metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), nadolol (Corgard) and atenolol (Tenormin).
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