Drug Treatment of Hypertension

The best and safe method to control the blood pressure is by making modifications in the lifestyle. If these changes cannot bring about the desired value of blood pressure, medications can be introduced. These drugs which reduce the high blood pressure are also advocated if a quick and drastic reduction in high blood pressure is needed which cannot be accomplished by lifestyle changes alone. The drug treatment is also suggested when the person with high blood pressure in need of medicine has an accompanying medical condition.

Indications of Drugs

  1. When lifestyle changes alone cannot control blood pressure.
  2. When a quick and drastic reduction in high blood pressure is needed.
  3. When the person with high blood pressure also has an       accompanying medical condition.

Blood pressure medications are called ‘Anti-hypertensives. They are very effective and most of the people are not bothered about the side effects. These drugs can control the high blood pressure and also reduce risks for the future health problems. There are many different types of blood pressure medication. If one medication does not bring about the required changes in blood pressure, a different type or another drug to what one was already taking is substituted by the doctor ‘an alternate line of treatment’. A combination of two or more ‘low dose’ drugs can lower blood pressure equally as well as one drug. Drug combinations often produce fewer side effects.

The doctor and the patient with high blood pressure need to sit together, talk, and formulate a treatment plan which is both effective and patient friendly. Finding the right medication-or combination of medications-can sometimes take a very long time. But ultimately the treatment plant must be designed in such a way that it is:

  1. On a long-term basis.
  2. Has little or no side effects.
  3. It is patient friendly and easy to follow up by the doctor.

The major classes of medications used to control high blood pressure include:

  1. Diuretics
  2. Beta blockers
  3. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors)
  4. Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  5. Calcium antagonists (calcium channel blockers)
  6. Alpha blockers
  7. Central acting agents
  8. Direct VASO-Dilators