Types of blood pressure medication

Your blood pressure is a mighty force which causes blood to course through the body from the arteries where the pressure is high, throughout the organs of the body, and into the veins where the pressure becomes low. Your blood pressure is generated by the pumping of blood by your heart into the arteries as well as resistance to the flow of blood by your arteries.

Systolic blood pressure (which is the top number of your blood pressure) represents the pressure in your arteries occurring as the muscle of the heart contract and pump blood into the arteries. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) represents the pressure in the arteries when the muscle of the heart relaxes after it contracts.

Medicinal cures for hypertension

Medications used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, are called anti-hypertensive’s. There are several types or classes of anti-hypertensive drugs, used to treat high blood pressure and each type has an effect on a person’s blood pressure in different ways.

After careful consideration, a doctor will choose an antihypertensive medication that is best for a patient’s age, medical history and any other medical factor he feels is relevant. It’s important he gets it right.

There are many kinds of high blood pressure medicines. Many people with high blood pressure have swelling to their ankles for instance. This is because of a build up of fluid in their body.

Diuretics or “water pills” enable this excess fluid to be flushed out of the body when urinating. This then reduces the blood volume in the body which also helps in reducing the blood pressure. Other types of anti- hypertensive medicines assist in relaxing tight blood vessels which helps the flow of blood run more smoothly.

Because there is no known cure for hypertension, treatment for high blood pressure is normally a life-long process with the blood pressure being monitored on a regular basis to ensure patients are receiving optimum effect from their medication.

A standard blood pressure reading for healthy adults is usually shown to be below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, or 120/80. Nonetheless, age and a medical history should always be taken into account as older people tend to have higher blood pressure readings.

Modifying your lifestyle is an excellent way of reducing your blood pressure. A person with high blood pressure who is overweight, and takes very little exercise, would probably find that modifying their lifestyle would assist in reducing their blood pressure to an acceptable level without the need to take medication.

A person with Stage 1 or Stage 2 hypertension usually requires two or more types of medicine to control their blood pressure.

Types of Blood Pressure Medications

Diuretics

Diuretics work in the kidney and flush excess water and minerals from the body. They have to be carefully monitored though as it is easy to overdose and deplete the body of important minerals.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers decrease nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels. This helps the heart beat slower and less forcefully. The blood pressure then drops to a more acceptable level and the work of the heart is made much easier.

ACE inhibitors

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors avoid the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II. This hormone usually causes blood vessels to narrow which then forces the blood pressure to go up to quite often dangerous levels. ACE inhibitors cause the vessels to relax and the blood pressure can be maintained at a more acceptable level.

Angiotensin antagonists

Angiotensin antagonists also protect blood vessels from angiotensin II. this ensures the blood vessels become wide enough for the blood to flow smoothly and helps the blood pressure reduce.

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)

CCBs prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes blood vessels to relax and pressure goes down to a more acceptable level.

Alpha-blockers

These lessen nerve impulses to blood vessels. This then allows blood to pass through the arteries more easily, causing the blood pressure to reduce.

Alpha-beta-blockers

Alpha-beta-blockers work in a similar way to alpha-blockers. However they also slow down the heartbeat, as beta-blockers do. This means less blood is pumped through the blood vessels and the blood pressure reduces accordingly.

Nervous system inhibitors

These relax the blood vessels by controlling and monitoring nerve impulses. This causes the blood vessels to become wider so the blood can flow more easily. This then encourages the blood pressure to reduce.

Vasodilators

These work by opening up the blood vessels. They relax muscles in the blood vessel walls this then helps the blood pressure to reduce. However vasodilators can have side effects such as severe headaches.

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