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How to Control High Blood Pressure
Hypertension Drugs and the Side Effects
by Christian Goodman
I was about to doze off when I heard the words heart attack and stroke. This was matter of factly mentioned in conjunction with the advertisement for high blood pressure medicine.
I regularly receive emails from people who are also desperate to avoid these side effects and others due to the medication.
I am very familiar with the host of problems various drugs can bring. However, I never tire of researching it just the same. I am amazed all over again when reviewing the side effects of the various drugs people have mentioned.
Remember, that high blood pressure is elevated blood pressure usually above 140 over 90 or so.
Heart attack and stroke can occur due to high blood pressure. Other vital organs can also be jeopardized such as the eyes, kidneys and brain.
Additional problems can include blindness, sleeplessness and erectile dysfunction. One problem with high blood pressure though is that the symptoms may not be present or noticable.
Many people do experience some symptoms. Blurry vision, headaches and nausea are common. Measuring blood pressure is the only way to truly deduce that is is exists though.
A single reading does not necessarily mean chronic high blood pressure though. You need to check it regularly and take note if you happen to be taking other medications. There are over the counter drugs that can contribute to elevated blood pressure.
You do want to be aware of possible side effects if you are prescribed medication. Four types I’ll review today are ACE Inhibitors, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers and Diuretics.
Let’s look at ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) Inhibitors first. These drugs help relax blood vessels relax by blocking angiotensin II production. This hormone causes blood vessels to narrow. ACE inhibitors that are often prescribed are: benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) ,quinapril (Accupril, Mavik) and ramipril (Altace).
Accompanying the drugs are possible side effects such as chronic coughing, headaches, chest pain and even kidney disease.
Now let’s look at Beta Blockers. These drugs reduce nerve signals to the heart and blood vessels which causes the heart to beat slower reducing blood pressure. Commonly prescribed beta blockers include: acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren).
Dizziness, impotence, memory loss and fatigue can occur with beta blockers.
Now let’s look at calcium channel blockers. Calcium is prevented from entering the heart and blood vessel muscle cells. This prevents the blood vessels from constricting and lowering blood pressure. Some of these drugs are amlodipine, fedodipine, nifedipine and verapamil.
Nausea, heartburn, shortness of breath, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction can occur. More serious is stroke and heart attack ” one of the very things the drug is designed to prevent.
And finally diuretics. The body flushes fluid and sodium which helps to lower blood pressure. Some of the common ones are hydrochlorothiazide, furoseminde and chlorthalidone.
Side effects include: electrolyte imbalances, impotence, breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia), increased blood sugar and blurred eye sight.
If reducing or eliminating high blood pressure medication is your goal, I recommend taking this slowly. Do not just discontinue your medication.
Don’t worry that your doctor will be harder to convince. Doing it gradually and continuing to monitor your blood pressure with your doctor will make the transition easier to swallow.
Continue with your medication while introducing the program. When you blood pressure starts to lower, discuss reducing your medication with your doctor. Continue to do this until you no longer need the drugs – and their side effects.
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