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What are the Different Types of High Blood Pressure Medications?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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High blood pressure is a common problem and often requires the use of prescription medications. There are several different types of high blood pressure medications available. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the overall health of the patient as well as the reason for the elevated blood pressure. Some common types of high blood pressure medications include diuretics, beta blockers, and ACE inhibitors.

Diuretics are commonly prescribed as high blood pressure medications. These medications are commonly referred to as fluid pills because they help to rid the body of excess fluid and sodium, often causing frequent urination. This process often helps to regulate blood pressure levels and can be prescribed alone or in combination with other medications. Diuretics often remove too much potassium from the body, so doctors often recommend a potassium supplement when taking these medications.

Beta blockers are popularly used as high blood pressure medications. These medications lower blood pressure by reducing the workload on the heart and the amount of blood released by the heart. Beta blocker medications are often combined with diuretics for optimum performance. Insomnia, depression, and impotence are possible side effects of beta blockers.

High blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors work by relaxing blood vessels, allowing them to open up more normally. This action works to help lower blood pressure. Studies have also shown that ACE inhibitors may help to preserve kidney function in those with kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease. Possible side effects include a dry cough, skin rash, and loss of taste. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not take this type of medication.

Calcium channel blockers may be prescribed as high blood pressure medications in some patients. These medications slow the forcefulness of heart contractions and open narrowed blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. Potential symptoms of calcium channel blockers include headaches, heart palpitations, and dizziness.

Blood vessel dilators, also known as vasodilators, are common high blood pressure medications. These medications relax and widen blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. Some forms of this medication are formulated specifically for those who have severe blood pressure problems or are experiencing kidney failure. Some potential side effects include headaches, joint pain, and heart palpitations. Some patients may experience puffiness under the eyes, weight gain, or excessive hair growth.

Untreated high blood pressure can potentially lead to severe health issues such as a heart attack or stroke. If diagnosed with high blood pressure, a person should take all medications as directed by a doctor. Blood pressure should be monitored regularly so that any fluctuations or potential complications can be treated right away.

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