High Blood Pressure - Medications
Deciding whether to treat
high blood pressure with medicine and choosing the
best medicine are based mainly on:
- How high your blood pressure
you have signs that high blood pressure has caused organ damage, such as an enlarged heart or early damage to your arteries, kidneys,
- Whether you have other medical conditions, such as
coronary artery disease,
diabetes, or kidney or lung disease or risk factors
for heart disease, such as diabetes or
- Whether you think you
can succeed at making lifestyle changes.
Doctors usually prescribe a single, low-dose medicine
first. If blood pressure is not controlled, your doctor may change the dosage
or try a different medicine or combination of medicines. It is common to try
several medicines before blood pressure is successfully controlled. Many
people need more than one medicine to get the best results.
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Medicine choices include:
All of these medicines are effective for lowering the
heart attack and
Work with your doctor to find the right medicine or
combination of medicines that have the fewest side effects and work well for
you. And be sure to take your medicines regularly as prescribed.
- High Blood Pressure: Taking Medicines Properly
- Taking Medicines as Prescribed
- Dealing With Medicine Side Effects and Interactions
You may have regular blood tests to monitor how the medicine is working in your body. Your doctor will likely let you know when you need to have the tests.
What to think about
- The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have
diabetes or heart failure.
- Some people who
get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs,
which usually don't cause a cough.
- Check with your doctor before you
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—for example, aspirin or ibuprofen—with
high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and
keep your blood pressure medicines from working
well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
- Don't take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or supplements unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines
can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working
right or cause a bad reaction.