Many people take prescription medicines to help their blood pressure. This is because their blood pressure is probably higher than 140/90 mm Hg. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in both men and women, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). If you have high blood pressure, it is important to consult with your doctor to find out which medications you should take.
Beta Blockers are medications used to lower blood pressure, treat angina (chest pain), prevent heart attacks and to prevent irregular heartbeats. Lopressor and Atenolol (Tenormin) are examples of Beta Blockers. These medication can be taken with or without food. If you have shortness of breath, chest pain, sudden weight gain, swelling in your legs and feet, and wheezing alert your doctor immediately.
An ACE Inhibitor is a heart medication that is used to treat high blood pressure and also helps treat heart failure after a heart attack. It lowers blood pressure by helping the pumping function of a person's heart. Lisinopril (Prinivivl, Zestril) and Enalapril (Vasotec) are examples of ACE Inhibitors. These medications are usually taken with food. Alert your doctor if you get a side effect of a nagging, dry cough.
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
These medications block a chemical in the body called Angiotensin II. Angiotensin II makes the blood vessels in the body narrow, which causes the blood flow to restrict. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers help the blood vessels to widen and relax. This lowers blood pressure and it reduces stress on the heart. Diovan (valsartan) and Cozaar (losartan) are examples of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. These medications are usually taken with food. Alert your doctor if you get dizzy, have a fever and chills.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium Channel Blockers help lower a person's blood pressure. This helps by keeping calcium out of the the blood vessel muscle cells and heart. By keeping the calcium out it helps the cells and heart relax. Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia) and Amlodipine (Norvasc) are examples of Calcium Channel Blockers. Medicine is usually taken with food. Alert your doctor if you experience very low blood pressure, rash, drowsiness, dizziness or if your legs swell up.
A blood thinner is used to keep harmful blood clots from going into the heart. It helps blood clots from recurring, too. However, it does not dissolve the blood clots that you may already have in your body. Coumadin (Warfarin) is an example of a blood thinner. Watch what you eat while on this medication because the medication does not work well with certain foods. For example, foods that are not good while taking a blood thinner contain a lot of Vitamin K. If you have abnormal bleeding in your stools or get nose bleeds, alert your doctor immediately.