Hypertension, or high blood pressure, afflicts countless people and many never realize it. This is why it is known as the "silent killer". High blood pressure can lead to everything from heart failure to conditions like strokes. It is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease in the United States and people of all ages can be affected by hypertension.
Here we’ll be looking at what medications are available to sufferers of hypertension so that you can receive the right treatment for your blood pressure as quickly as possible.
The Symptoms & Causes of Hypertension
In 95% of all cases, the underlying cause of hypertension can be identified.
Overweight individuals, those who drink more than two drinks a day, inactive people, and smokers are at the highest risk.
- shortness of breath
- frequent headaches & migraines
- chest pain
- eyesight issues
- heart arrhythmia
- a pounding sensation in your ears, chest or neck.
These symptoms are the most common but many sufferers have hypertension for years without once noticing any problems in their body. The only reliable way to know you do not have high blood pressure is to consistently monitor your blood pressure. This could mean regular check-ups at the doctor, or checking your blood pressure at home with an at home reader.
High blood pressure is a condition that is treatable using a range of different solutions. Some common hypertension medications include:
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE)
- angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBS)
- calcium channel blockers
- beta blockers
- renin inhibitors.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Water pills, or diuretics, are the most commonly prescribed medication. They help you flush excess water and sodium from the body. The decreased amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels immensely reduces the pressure on vessel walls. More severe cases of high blood pressure are typically given a course of diuretics in combination with other hypertension medications. Three main types of diuretics are commonly prescribed with each fitting a different degree of hypertension:
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
The hormone angiotensin amasses in the blood vessels causing them to narrow. ACE inhibitors prevent this process, relaxing pressure on the blood vessels and vessel walls. The most common ACE inhibitor hypertension medications include:
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
Instead of blocking the formation of blood-vessel narrowing angiotensin, ARBs stop the action instead. The most common ARBs prescribed are:
Calcium Channel Blockers
Hypertension medications based on calcium channel blockers help relax blood vessel muscle cells and heart cells by blocking the passage of calcium. When calcium can’t enter the heart and blood vessels, blood pressure drops quickly and steadily. The most common calcium channel blocker hypertension medications are:
Beta blockers are also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents. These hypertension medications lower your heart rate and thus lower blood pressure by blocking the effects of epinephrine. This hormone is also known as adrenaline. The most commonly prescribed beta blockers are:
The kidneys produce an enzyme called renin which can cause a chain reaction that steadily worsens hypertension. The most common renin inhibitor hypertension medications include:
Getting a Regular Check-Up
It is vital that you check your blood pressure frequently. There are affordable machines you can buy at most pharmacies so you can do it at home. Many pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS also offer blood pressure readings for free. If you see that you have high blood pressure it is important to make an appointment with a doctor so you can begin a treatment plan. Hypertension can be fatal if left untreated.
Consistently high stress levels, smoking, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking, all raise the risk of hypertension so cutting down or eliminating these may be the first step to reducing your blood pressure.
Get Hypertension Medication Online
If you do have high blood pressure and aren't sure which of the hypertension medications above is right for you, or you simply prefer to get hypertension medication online without the hassle of the doctor's office try PlushCare. Our doctors can diagnose your hypertension and prescribe you the necessary medication online. Your prescription will be sent to your local pharmacy, so pick-up is easy for you.
And when it's time for a prescription refill, PlushCare can help you there too.
Meet with a PlushCare doctor online today to discuss your blood pressure results, and go over your symptoms to see if you qualify for hypertension medication.