In addition to lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, some people require medication to control high blood pressure. Medications that are currently available for hypertension include diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and nervous system inhibitors. Other medications include beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, alpha-beta blockers, and vasodilators. It's important to take these medications exactly as directed, even if you're feeling well.
Hypertension Medications: An Introduction
For some people, lifestyle changes alone are not enough to adequately control or prevent hypertension (more commonly known as high blood pressure). These people need hypertension medications to lower their blood pressure. There are several different forms of medicine, and each one works in a slightly different way. Because people react to medication in different ways, you may need to try a few different types of hypertension drugs before your healthcare provider finds the ideal medication for you.
If your doctor prescribes any of the various medications currently available, be sure to take your pills exactly as directed. Even if you feel well, you still need to take your medication. It is impossible to feel the damage that hypertension could be causing until it's too late.
Types of Medications for Hypertension
There are several categories of hypertension medications. Often, two or more drugs work better than one. The main categories of medications for hypertension include:
- Alpha blockers
- Beta blockers
- Alpha-beta blockers
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
- Nervous system inhibitors
A Detailed Look at These Medications
As a whole, the different categories of hypertension medications are known as "antihypertensives." In the following sections, each variety of these antihypertensives is described in more detail.