There are different classes of antihypertensive drugs, and not all options are best for everyone. That’s why it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to find the right medication for your specific needs.
Diuretics help lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of fluid in the body through urination. said Victoria Hearn, Ph.D., Cardiology Clinician Pharmacist at the University of Maryland Baltimore Her Washington Medical Center. Diuretics are usually prescribed to be taken once or twice a day and can be used alone or in combination with other medications.
Diuretic use can lower electrolyte levels in the body. Potassium is one of the electrolytes that help muscle contraction, heart rate regulation, and other important internal functions. As a result, patients taking diuretics may experience arrhythmias, muscle spasms, fatigue, or weakness.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of angiotensin, a blood vessel-narrowing hormone produced by the body.
“These drugs make the heart beat faster and may slow the progression of kidney disease,” Dr. Hahn explains. “As a result, ACE inhibitors are a good option for many patients, especially those with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes.”
Side effects of ACE inhibitors include persistent dry cough, taste disturbance, and skin rash. “Swelling of the lips, tongue and throat leading to airway obstruction is a more serious but rare side effect,” adds Dr Hahn.
angiotensin receptor blocker
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce the effects of angiotensin in the body by blocking the receptors to which angiotensin attaches, relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
“ARBs are also preferred drugs for patients with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes,” says Dr. Hearn. “Also, by acting similarly to ACE inhibitors, ARBs may reduce the load on the heart and slow the progression of kidney damage.”
Most ARBs are often prescribed to be taken once daily and may be a good option for those who experience dry cough or airway obstruction from ACE inhibitors. However, she warns that ARBs can cause high levels of potassium in the body, so they should be monitored closely when first started.
calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers (CCBs), also known as calcium channel antagonists, work by blocking the flow of calcium to muscle cells in the heart and blood vessels. They help relax and dilate blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily through the body, resulting in lower overall blood pressure.
According to Dr. Hearn, CCBs are an effective initial treatment option and are usually prescribed to be taken once or twice a day.
Side effects of CCB include constipation, slow heart rate, edema, headache, and lightheadedness.
Beta blockers help lower blood pressure by reducing the effects of hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine on beta receptors located throughout the body. Beta receptors are particularly concentrated in the heart and blood vessels, and blocking these receptors slows the heart rate, relaxes blood vessels, and ultimately lowers blood pressure.
“Beta-blockers are usually reserved for high blood pressure that is not adequately treated by first-line drugs alone,” Dr. Hahn says. It may be used as an initial treatment, as it has been shown to be beneficial in these populations.”
Beta-blockers may be prescribed alone or in combination with other medications as needed and are usually prescribed to be taken once or twice a day, she said. adds.
Common side effects of beta-blockers include insomnia, depression, fatigue, slow heart rate, a condition medically known as bradycardia.
Vasodilators work by relaxing and widening the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily throughout the body and lowering blood pressure.
“Vasodilators are usually added for blood pressure that cannot be controlled by other drugs alone and are prescribed to be taken once, twice, or three times a day,” says Dr. Hahn.
Side effects of vasodilators include headache, heart palpitations, and joint pain.
Alpha blockers work by blocking the action of hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine that constrict blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
“Alpha blockers are suitable for treating high blood pressure in patients with a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hyperplasia,” explains Dr. Hahn. It adds that it is prescribed to be taken.
“Alpha blockers can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure when you go from sitting to standing, causing dizziness and fainting, so it’s important to stand up slowly when taking these medications. is,” she says.
α-2 receptor agonist
“Alpha2-receptor agonists work by stimulating alpha2-receptors in the brain, resulting in a decrease in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and acetylcholine,” explains Dr. McBane.this [reduction] Ultimately, it relaxes the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily and, as a result, lowering blood pressure, she says.
“Alpha-2 receptor agonists are usually add-on drugs for high blood pressure. They are used when the more common blood pressure drugs don’t lower blood pressure sufficiently,” she adds.
Side effects of these drugs include dizziness and drowsiness. Additionally, Dr. McBain says most alpha-2 receptor agonists need to be taken several times a day, but don’t miss a dose as they can cause a spike in blood pressure known as rebound hypertension. added that it is important.
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