You will have to work with your doctor to figure out exactly what medication or medications are right for you, and what dosages control your blood pressure best.
- What your doctor will consider when choosing your medication
- What you should consider when choosing your medication
- What if the medication doesn't lower your blood pressure?
- How to get the most out of your medication
Not every medication is right for everyone. When choosing the best medication for you to start taking, your doctor will consider:
- Your age
- Your race or ethnic background
- The severity of your high blood pressure
- If you have any other chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart failure
- If you are taking any other medications and remedies, including prescribed or over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies
For example, diuretics and beta-blockers are often the first drugs used to treat high blood pressure. But a person with both high blood pressure and type 1 diabetes might fare better on an ACE inhibitor.
Some groups of people respond better to one type of drugs than to another. For example, older people and black people do not respond to beta-blockers as well as they do to diuretics.
Need To Know:
Other medications or remedies, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies, may react with some types of blood pressure medication. In order to select the right medication for you, your doctor must know about any other medications or remedies you are taking.
How To Information:
What you should consider when choosing your medication
You should also have some input into choosing the right medication. Some things you might want to consider include:
After selecting the medication to begin your treatment for high blood pressure, your doctor will advise you to start taking the lowest dosage possible. This is intended to avoid side effects as well as a fall in blood pressure that happens too rapidly. If your blood pressure remains uncontrolled after one or two months of therapy, your doctor will adjust the dose upwards.
If the full dose of the drug does not effectively control your blood pressure, your doctor will:
- Add another type of drug
- Switch to another type of drug
Adding a second type of drug can be useful if you are not having problems with the first drug. But if you are experiencing troublesome side effects, or if the first drug isn't lowering your blood pressure, your doctor is likely to recommend that you switch to another type of drug.
If your blood pressure is still not controlled after these changes, additional medications can be added. There are a variety of mixed-class medications that can reduce the number of pills you need to take each day.
If your blood pressure is still not adequately controlled, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist with specific expertise in treating high blood pressure.
Nice To Know:
Q. If I take medication for my high blood pressure, and the pressure falls to normal, why do I have to keep taking the medication?
A. In some cases, high blood pressure is caused by another condition. This type of
But 90 to 95 percent of people with high blood pressure have
Also, some medications (for example, beta-blockers) can cause sudden increases in heart rate and blood pressure if you suddenly stop taking them. Therefore, you should never discontinue taking your medication on your own. This should be a decision made in consultation with your doctor.
How To Information:
How to get the most out of your medications
No matter what type of drug your doctor selects for you, there are some general rules to follow in order to get the most benefit from your medication:
Need To Know:
Remember that high blood pressure usually causes no symptoms, but it stays with you, inflicting damage on key organs if left uncontrolled.