Blood Pressure Medication

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (a condition in which a person has consistently high blood pressure readings), your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as exercising, quitting smoking, or changing your diet. When these changes are not enough to lower your blood pressure, a doctor will prescribe medicine to help.

Here are the blood pressure medications, how they work to lower blood pressure, and common side effects
Drug Class How It Works Examples Common Side Effects
Diuretics (water pills) Removes excess water and salt through the kidneys Hydrochlorothiazide Chlorothiazide Indapamide Furosemide Increased urination, dizziness, dehydration, increased/decreased potassium or sodium
Beta Blockers Causes heartbeat to slow down and beat with less force Atenolol
Drowsiness, fatigue, weakness, impotence in men
ACE Inhibitors or Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors Relaxes blood vessels by blocking the action of Angiotensin II Lisinopril
Dy Cough
ARB's or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Relaxes blood vessels by blocking the action of Angiotensin II Cozaar Avapro
Diovan Benicar Micardis
No common side effects
Calcium Channel Blockers Relaxes blood vessels by blocking calcium from entering the muscle’s cells of the heart and blood vessels Diltiazem
Feeling tired, swelling of the abdomen, ankles or feet (edema), heartburn or upset stomach, constipation

** In order for your blood pressure to improve, it is important to take your medications exactly as your doctor prescribed. **

Remember to take your medications on the day of your doctor’s visits.

Tips to help you remember to take your medications

  • Schedule to take your medications at the same time every day.
  • Use a pill box and place it somewhere you will see it every day. Some examples include kitchen window sill, next to your bed or next to your toothbrush.
  • Keep a list of medications with you.
  • Place a reminder note on your bathroom mirror or dresser drawer.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or clock to remind you.
  • Ask your doctor what the plan should be if you happen to miss a dose or take an extra dose by mistake.

Taking your medication prescribed by your doctor is important. If you decide not to take your medication, tell your doctor. This will help your doctor determine the next best way to treat the condition.

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