Blood pressure medication has a lot of side effects. How can you decide which is the best one for you? Read on to learn more about your high blood pressure meds.
- High blood pressure is a severe condition that requires a combination of medications to control it.
- High blood pressure medications have adverse side effects if a physician does not manage them.
- Old high-blood pressure medications are becoming redundant, and new-age medication combinations are now prescribed to control blood pressure.
Hypertensive conditions can be challenging to manage. Those with high blood pressure are familiar with the danger of fluctuating readings. Most of the time, fluctuations and irregularities in blood pressure mean it’s time to change your medication.
High blood pressure medicines have changes over time as medical guidelines were updates. Old blood pressure medicines had serious side effects. If you’re taking any old generation blood pressure medication, speak to your physician immediately.
Avoiding Old Blood Pressure Medicines
Old blood pressure medicines that have serious side effects are as follows:
- Atenolol: This is not a go-to medicine because of intense side effects like low blood sugar, nausea and dizziness.
- Furosemide: This loop diuretic is eschewed by physicians and other alternatives are prescribed.
- Terazosin and Prazosin: The old school alpha-blockers can cause light headedness and fainting episodes and physicians don’t encourage the use of this medicine.
- Hydralazine: This arteriolar vasodilator has more side effects than benefits, and doctors prefer newer medication instead.
- Clonidine: Central alpha agonists can cause rebound hypertension, drowsiness and slowed heart rate amongst other concerning side effects.
According to experts, those with high blood pressure should also avoid commonly available OTC medications such as the following:
- Pain medication like NSAIDS (for example, naproxen and ibuprofen).
- Cold and influenza medication
- Antacids and gut medication (they contain high sodium levels).
- Decongestant medication (for example, pseudoephedrine).
- Certain natural supplements (for example, ma huang, bitter orange, and ephedra).
OTC medication usually interacts with high blood pressure medication. Usually, they won’t affect your blood pressure, but in some cases, they have had dire consequences. Always check with your physician before taking any medication or natural supplements.
High blood pressure isn’t usually the only condition an individual may have. A person can also have thyroid, and kidney problems, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. It is best to speak to your doctor when choosing a medicine to lower blood pressure because:
- Insulin causes changes in blood sugar which can affect the efficacy of diuretics and beta-blockers.
- ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) can be risky for pregnant women and their developing baby.
- High blood pressure medication can cause erectile dysfunction in some male patients.
Popular High Blood Pressure Medications Prescribed By Physicians
Modern high blood pressure medication is prescribed by physicians to lower blood pressure problems in patients. Along with lifestyle changes and managing a schedule of other medications, doctors prescribe better medication now.
Diuretics like thiazides to lower blood pressure. They have minimal side effects, and are much more affordable. Thiazides are also effective at lowering high blood pressure and the risk of future heart disease. Common diuretics prescribed are:
Ace Inhibitors are a common medicine prescribed instead of old ones. These have minimal side effects and allow the blood vessels to remain relaxed so blood flows more easily to the heart. Some popular ACE inhibitors are:
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) are new age medicines prescribed to help lower blood pressure. These are like ACE inhibitors and allow the cardiovascular system to remain relaxed. You might be familiar with the following names:
Another medicine that is popular amongst physicians is calcium channel blockers, like Amlodipine. These relax the blood vessels to keep blood pressure low and regulated.
Common Medication Prescribed For High Blood Pressure
What It Does
Flushes out extra water and sodium.
· Erectile dysfunction
· Weakness, cramping and fatigue
· Onset of gout or intense foot pain
Makes your heart beat with less intensity.
· Asthma and breathing issues
· Sleep disturbances
· Erection problems
· Cold feet and hands
Relaxes blood vessels by blocking the formation of the hormone that narrows the blood vessels.
· Dry, hack cough
· Skin rash
· Loss of taste
Protect blood vessels from narrowing and keeps them open.
Prevent calcium from entering the heart, muscle and blood cells.
· Swollen ankles
Lessen the nerve impulse to narrow blood vessels.
· Quick pulse
Alpha-2 Receptor Agonist
Reduces adrenaline production in the nervous system.
Reduce nerve impulses to slow down heartbeat.
· Low blood pressure
Control nerve impulses to relax blood vessels.
· Dry mouth
· Drowsiness and weakness
· Erection problems
Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitors
Blocks neurotransmitters in the brain to relax smooth muscles.
· Congested nose
· Dizziness and weakness
Relax muscle walls to allow blood to flow better through blood vessels.
· Excessive hair growth
· Water retention
· Joint aches and pains
· Eye swelling
Decreases the chemicals that tighten blood vessels.
· Stomach pain
Alternates For High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure is a serious condition. Experts and physicians recommend a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to maintain optimal health. While taking medications, patients must make changes like:
- Developing healthy sleeping routines.
- Consuming nutrient-dense and low-sodium diets.
- Performing a combination of strength training and low-intensity cardio exercises.
- Taking care of stressors.
- Monitoring other comorbidities and being punctual with doctor visits.
High blood pressure requires extra care. To maintain optimum cardiovascular health and prevent future health decline, blood pressure patients must comply with their doctor’s prescription. It is also a good idea to speak to your doctor about non-medical changes you can make to improve the quality of your life.
If you suspect your blood pressure medication is not helping or are experiencing any of the side effects listed above, speak to your physician immediately and schedule a screening.