High blood pressure medically known as hypertension is a serious illness that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world. Hypertension in its form as essential hypertension can not be cured. The only time when doctors can cure high blood pressure is in the case of secondary hypertension which is caused often by underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes. The best therefore that science can do in the case of hypertension is to manage it and keep it under control.
Important to the management and control of high blood pressure are anti-hypertensive medications. These are pharmacological drugs manufactured specifically to deal with certain types of high blood pressure conditions. Hypertension treatment is still an area under intense study as doctors seek to develop tailor made treatment to deal with each patient’s characteristics. These drugs are not the only important aspect of any treatment regime. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and drinking as well dietary approaches are important to the effective control and management of hypertension. in fact part of the benefits of quitting smoking will include avoidance of hypertension and better control of it.
It has been observed that an increasing number of patients prefer natural methods of high blood pressure treatment. These would include food that lowers blood pressure and some known herbs that work as natural diuretics. At the center of this natural methods preference is the fear of known blood pressure medications side effects. Hypertension medications side effects can be so intense that some patients abandon treatment regime mid-way which in itself is a risk factor for resistant hypertension.
Using specially prepared hypertension guidelines, doctors have a choice of up to seven classes of high blood pressure medications to treat patients with. Each of these pharmacological drugs contain known side effects that each patient should be aware of. The following are selected drugs and their accompanying side effects.
Diuretics serve the purpose of excreting excess fluid from the bloodstream. The drug is known to cause dizziness, headache, thirst due to loss of fluid, muscle cramps due to loss of potassium, and upset stomach. One remarkable side effect of diuretics that brings much discomfort to patients is the frequent urination. This is particularly burdensome at bed time.
According to the FDAs Office of Women’s Health diuretics are not to be used by breastfeeding mothers as the medicines are feared to pass to their baby via breastfeeding. The medicines are also not ideal for people suffering from urinal problems as they cause frequent urination. Kidney disease patients, liver disease patients should also seek to consult their physician before using the medication.
Known in full as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, ACE Inhibitors are amongst the top used anti-hypertensive drugs. They include trade marked drugs such as captopril, cilzapril and lisinopril. They work by preventing the body from creating the hormone angiotensin II. This allows increased relaxation of blood vessels which is beneficial to hypertension patients. Known ACE Inhibitor side effects include coughing, dizziness, headache, sleeping problems, fast heart rate and feeling tired.
Once again pregnant and nursing women are required to be cautious with the drug. Thia also applies to people with certain ailments such as kidney and liver diseases, diabetes and heart problems. Also individuals already taking diuretics will need special doctor direction should they consider taking ACE Inhibitors.
Also used frequently for high blood pressure treatment, Beta-Blockers are not to be used by individuals who have a slow heart rate, heart block or shock. They work by blocking certain nerve impulses that affect blood vessels. This blocking of the impulses is beneficial to high blood pressure patients. Known side effects of the beta-blockers include feeling lightheaded, being constipated or having diarrhea, headache, upset stomach, dizziness and feeling tired.
People with asthma or those who are prone to sudden narrowing of the airways known medically as bronchospasm should avoid beta-blockers as they can make breathing symptoms worse. Doctors have also documented impotence amongst men, vivid dreams and nightmares. It has also been noted that in some individuals beta-blockers may result in type 2 diabetes developing.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Also known in short as CCBs, calcium channel blockers reduce the amount of calcium entering into artery muscles helping them to relax which is helpful to hypertension patients. Different types of trade marked CCBs include Verapamil, Diltiazem and Dihydropyridine. Side effects would be feeling drowsy, ankle swelling, feeling warm, upset stomach and headache.
Generic names for vasolidators will include hydralazine and minoxidil. Brand name of the drug example is Loniten. Women who are pregnant or nursing are instructed to speak to their physical or health care professional before taking this medication. This also applies to people with ailments such as diabetes, heart disease and uremia. There are drug interaction issues with drugs such as diuretics, insulin, phenytoin, corticosteroids, estrogen and warfarin.
Common side effects associated with vasolidators are significant growth in body hair, upset stomach, headache and dizziness.