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How do I know if I need high blood pressure drugs?

ANSWER

There isn't always a clear answer to whether you need high blood pressure drugs. A lot depends on how high your blood pressure is and your general health. Your age also plays a role. You and your doctor can figure out when lifestyle changes are enough and when you need a prescription.

SOURCES:

CDC: "High Blood Pressure."

National Institute on Aging: "High Blood Pressure."

American Heart Association: "Understanding Blood Pressure Readings," "Heart Insight: Why Blood Pressure Matters," "Hypertensive Crisis: When You Should Call 9-1-1 for High Blood Pressure," "Controlling Hypertension in Adults," "What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?" "Low Blood Pressure -- When Blood Pressure Is Too Low."

Mayo Clinic: "High blood pressure (hypertension)."

UpToDate: "Hypertension: Who Should Be Treated?" IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care): "When is taking medication for high blood pressure a good idea?"

Medscape: "Updated Hypertension Guidelines Released by ACP, AAFP."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 17, 2019

SOURCES:

CDC: "High Blood Pressure."

National Institute on Aging: "High Blood Pressure."

American Heart Association: "Understanding Blood Pressure Readings," "Heart Insight: Why Blood Pressure Matters," "Hypertensive Crisis: When You Should Call 9-1-1 for High Blood Pressure," "Controlling Hypertension in Adults," "What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?" "Low Blood Pressure -- When Blood Pressure Is Too Low."

Mayo Clinic: "High blood pressure (hypertension)."

UpToDate: "Hypertension: Who Should Be Treated?" IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care): "When is taking medication for high blood pressure a good idea?"

Medscape: "Updated Hypertension Guidelines Released by ACP, AAFP."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 17, 2019

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What do the numbers in a blood pressure reading mean?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.