Medications for Hypertension

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There exist dozens of antihypertensive medications, each with its pros and cons. Although all of them have shown to lower blood pressure, different people respond differently to certain medications depending on age, race, sex as well as concomitant health conditions. For this reason antihypertensive are subdivided into several classes, where each class lowers pressure in a different way. Below is an overview of these classes. To find expanded information on any type of drug, continue to site

Diuretics remove excess water and salt from the body, decreasing the amount of fluid circulating in the blood vessels, which reduces pressure of blood on the vessel walls. Diuretics are seldom used alone and are often prescribed with other antihypertensive therapies.

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Beta-blockers act directly on the heart, reducing its rate and pumpingforce, at the same time reducing the blood volume. They do this by blocking the effect of adrenaline thanks to which the heart beats slower and with less force.

ACE inhibitors decrease the production of the hormone angiotensin which causes arteries to narrow. By helping the body to produce less of this hormone, these medications help blood vessels to relax and widen, thus lowering blood pressure.

ARBs block the effects of angiotensin in the body so that it fails to constrict blood vessels.Medications like Diovan help vessels stay open and blood flow smoothly, resulting in blood pressure reduction.

Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the heart and arterysmooth muscle cells. Since calcium causes stronger and harder contractions, its decrease makes heart contractions not so forceful; blood vessels are relaxed and heart rate and blood pressure lowered.

Renin inhibitors slow the production of this enzyme in the kidneys, reducing its ability to start a chain of chemical processes that increase blood pressure.

Alpha blockers reduce arterial resistance, relaxing the vascular walls muscle tone.

If the blood pressure goal cannot be reached with the medications mentioned above or there are compelling medical reasons, vasodilators, alpha-beta blockers, aldosterone antagonists and central-acting agents can be prescribed.

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