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The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

August 17, 2016 @ 4:50 pm
by Heart News 247

As was discussed in a previous vignette, there are several types of blood pressure medications to lower high blood pressure. Diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers were all discussed. All have a role to play, and all attack high blood pressure at different places in the body’s process of maintaining blood pressure. Often, combinations must be used to control high blood pressure. This vignette will further discuss different types of medications that are available to control high blood pressure.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

The next kind of medicine to control high blood pressure is the calcium channel blockers. They are further divided into two different groups: one that opens up the arteries of that lowering the blood pressure inside such as nifedipine and amlodipine, and one that lowers the heart rate such as Verapamil or Diltiazem. These medications are not really considered first-line therapies, but at times they do have a role to play in lowering blood pressure. Verapamil and Diltiazem are also used in certain heart rhythms when the heart rhythm is too fast. The good news with these medications is that there is increasing evidence that they may reduce stroke and heart attacks. However, they do have side effects including headache and swelling in the legs, and of course there’s always a chance that the heart rate can be lowered too much, causing heart failure or just general fatigue.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a new kind of blood pressure medicine that are being used more and more. They work in a similar way to the ACE inhibitors. They differ in that they do not cause a cough, and so many physicians use this type of medication when the ACE inhibitors cause a cough. This kind of medication includes Losartan, Olmesartan, Eprosartan, Telmisartan, Candesartan, Valsartan, and Irbesartan. It is now thought that they have similar effects on heart failure, kidney disease and heart attacks that ACE inhibitors have, although there are not as many studies done on ARBs as there are on the ACE inhibitors. On a more personal note, I very rarely use these medications because of their high costs and to me personally, they just don’t seem very strong in actually reducing high blood pressure.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

There are several other classes of medication that are used less frequently. For instance, in very high blood pressures, some doctors use a medication called hydralazine that helps open the arteries up a bit allowing the pressure inside the artery to decrease. This medication is used three times a day, and often causes lots of swelling in the legs. Furthermore, not everyone responds to it. There is also a class of high blood pressure medicines called alpha blockers, such as doxazosin, that actually increase the risk of stroke and heart failure when used.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

Finally, there probably needs to be a special word given to the medication called clonidine. Clonidine or Catapress is available as a pill or a patch. It’s considered a pretty strong medication, and is one that used a lot when blood pressures are very high, especially if we think somebody is at or near a stroke or kidney failure. It is not used very often long-term because of its two main side effects: it’s very sedating, and it gives a very dry mouth. Both of these symptoms get a little better over time, but for most people they never completely get used to them, either.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

As one can see, there are a lot of choices out there for high blood pressure, and this vignette just scratches the surface. If you have high blood pressure, please consult your physician as to what to do, but we hope that the information above gives you a little bit more information as to how we approach and treat high blood pressure.

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

The Treatment Of High Blood Pressure II

As was discussed in a previous vignette, there are several types of blood pressure medications to lower high blood pressure. Diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers were all discussed. All have a role to play, and all attack high blood pressure at different places in the body’s process of maintaining blood pressure. Often, combinations must be used to control high blood pressure. This vignette will further discuss different types of medications that are available to control high blood pressure.

The next kind of medicine to control high blood pressure is the calcium channel blockers. They are further divided into two different groups: one that opens up the arteries of that lowering the blood pressure inside such as nifedipine and amlodipine, and one that lowers the heart rate such as Verapamil or Diltiazem. These medications are not really considered first-line therapies, but at times they do have a role to play in lowering blood pressure. Verapamil and Diltiazem are also used in certain heart rhythms when the heart rhythm is too fast. The good news with these medications is that there is increasing evidence that they may reduce stroke and heart attacks. However, they do have side effects including headache and swelling in the legs, and of course there’s always a chance that the heart rate can be lowered too much, causing heart failure or just general fatigue.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a new kind of blood pressure medicine that are being used more and more. They work in a similar way to the ACE inhibitors. They differ in that they do not cause a cough, and so many physicians use this type of medication when the ACE inhibitors cause a cough. This kind of medication includes Losartan, Olmesartan, Eprosartan, Telmisartan, Candesartan, Valsartan, and Irbesartan. It is now thought that they have similar effects on heart failure, kidney disease and heart attacks that ACE inhibitors have, although there are not as many studies done on ARBs as there are on the ACE inhibitors. On a more personal note, I very rarely use these medications because of their high costs and to me personally, they just don’t seem very strong in actually reducing high blood pressure.

There are several other classes of medication that are used less frequently. For instance, in very high blood pressures, some doctors use a medication called hydralazine that helps open the arteries up a bit allowing the pressure inside the artery to decrease. This medication is used three times a day, and often causes lots of swelling in the legs. Furthermore, not everyone responds to it. There is also a class of high blood pressure medicines called alpha blockers, such as doxazosin, that actually increase the risk of stroke and heart failure when used.

Finally, there probably needs to be a special word given to the medication called clonidine. Clonidine or Catapress is available as a pill or a patch. It’s considered a pretty strong medication, and is one that used a lot when blood pressures are very high, especially if we think somebody is at or near a stroke or kidney failure. It is not used very often long-term because of its two main side effects: it’s very sedating, and it gives a very dry mouth. Both of these symptoms get a little better over time, but for most people they never completely get used to them, either.

As one can see, there are a lot of choices out there for high blood pressure, and this vignette just scratches the surface. If you have high blood pressure, please consult your physician as to what to do, but we hope that the information above gives you a little bit more information as to how we approach and treat high blood pressure.

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Comments

  • Angela Bennett
    March 16, 2016

    Thanks for posting. Just confimed im not losing my competence as i was
    questioned by another practitioner regarding using Clonidine to control bp
    as my patient was already on Cloniidine infusion

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