In India, high blood pressure is the most common cardiovascular risk factor. That is why it is important to control it well. When should medication be taken? How do the different families of antihypertensives work? What are their side effects? Here is a guide regarding drugs to treat hypertension and answers from our experts.
We speak of hypertension when the blood pressure on the artery wall is too high. The latter is considered too high beyond 140/90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) if the measurement is carried out in a medical environment; 135/85 mmHg if you take your blood pressure yourself.
“Today, well-followed hypertensive people live in good health,” says experts. The balance of hypertension requires compliance with hygienic-dietary measures (balanced diet, smoking cessation, 30 minutes of physical activity per day) and compliance with medical treatment. “
To follow a treatment or not?
Good nutrition and physical activity are important, but not enough. In case of hypertension , medical treatment is always prescribed, evaluated and adjusted regularly. When combined with a treatment, the dietary regimen called DASH (for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) thus allows better control of hypertension *.
If there are no other illnesses, one medicine is enough. “We then look for which will be the most effective, at the lowest dosage and without side effects. But you can’t predict the side effects. Fortunately, in 90% of cases, there is none. “
When hypertension is more severe , several drugs are often combined “whose synergy, even in small doses, will be more effective than a single treatment whose dosage has been increased,” says experts.
“These are the drugs that will lower blood pressure by saving the heart, kidneys and brain,” says experts and hypertension specialists in the nephrology department.
The doctor has a choice between several families of drugs, each acting differently on hypertension .
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB II)
How do they work? They reduce blood pressure by blocking angiotensin, an enzyme that constricts blood vessels. Formally contraindicated in pregnant women from the 4th month of pregnancy. Hence these can be a good choice.
Possible side effects: Hypotension, cough.
How do they work? They promote the elimination of water and salt by the kidneys, and reduce cardiac output.
Possible side effects: Decrease in the level of sodium or potassium in the blood, glucose intolerance, impotence.
How do they work? They decrease the activity of the nervous system especially reduce the heart rate.
Possible side effects : Narrowing of the bronchi, fatigue, slower rhythm heart, depression.
Calcium antagonists or calcium channel blockers (ICA)
How do they work? They promote the relaxation of the arteries by slowing the entry of calcium into the muscles responsible for their contraction.
Possible side effects : Headache, edema ankles.
Converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors)
How do they work? They suppress the vasoconstrictor effect of the enzyme on the arteries. Formally contraindicated in especially pregnant women from the 4th month of pregnancy.
Possible side effects: fatigue, dry cough, redness in the face and neck, impaired kidney function.
How do they work? They dilate the arteries.
Possible side effects: hypotension after the first dose, dizziness, fatigue.
Central action antihypertensives
How do they work? They act on the central nervous system, especially on the heart rate.
Possible side effects: fatigue, depression, memory problems.
DISCLAIMER: This article is only for information purposes. Please consult your Doctor for any prescription or taking any drugs
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