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Assessing High Blood Pressure Drugs

Part of the High Blood Pressure For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’ve wholeheartedly made lifestyle changes trying to reduce your high blood pressure and it doesn’t seem to be working, you may need high blood pressure medication. Numerous drugs exist for high blood pressure, but you need to meet with your doctor to discuss what medicine is right for you. Drugs for high blood pressure fall into several classes:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: Lower blood pressure by blocking formation of a key hormone, angiotensin II, which both narrows arteries and causes release of another blood-pressure-raising hormone

  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers: Lower blood pressure by preventing angiotensin II from attaching to a site

  • Beta blockers: Lower blood pressure by decreasing the amount of blood pumped by the heart and by lowering the heart rate

  • Calcium-channel blockers: Lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering cells, thus increasing the size of arteries

  • Diuretics: Lower blood pressure by causing salt loss in the urine with accompanying body water, thereby reducing blood volume and pressure

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High Blood Pressure For Dummies Cheat Sheet


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