Hypertension affects approximately 33 percent of the United States population, as noted by the American Heart Association. While 74.9 percent of individuals were under treatment, only 52.5 percent actually had their blood pressure controlled. The medications used to control your blood pressure might not only be ineffective in some cases, but sometimes the drugs cause dangerous side effects.
Types of Blood Pressure Medications
Eleven main types of blood pressure medications exist including the following:
- Ace inhibitors
- Alpha blockers
- Alpha-2 receptor agonists
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Central agonists
- Combined alpha and beta blockers
- Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
- Vasodilators (blood vessel dilators)
Each variety works in a different manner to reduce your blood pressure level and help prevent a serious cardiovascular complication such as a heart attack or stroke. For example, some drugs decrease your blood pressure by reducing the activity of the sympathetic region of the nervous system. Diuretics reduce the amount of salt and water in the blood, which has the potential to help regulate your blood pressure level. An alpha blocker has the potential to reduce arterial resistance. It relaxes the muscles in the vascular walls, which in return, decreases your blood pressure.
Side Effects of Blood Pressure Medications
The side effects of your blood pressure medication depends on the medication you’re taking. You might have a decrease in energy from a diuretic. Men have the potential to experience a reduced sex drive and possibly impotence. Mental depression, irritability, anxiety and vivid dreams are all possible. Diuretics have the potential to cause an increase in thirst, mental changes, a weak pulse or an irregular heartbeat, just to name a few.
A beta blocker has the potential to cause weakness, dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue. You might have dry skin or dry mouth. Diarrhea, vomiting or nausea are all possible. You might have a decreased sex drive and experience sleep disturbances. Those who have asthma shouldn’t take this variety of blood pressure medication because it can trigger an asthma attack.
Calcium channel blockers may cause headaches, rash, nausea, constipation, flushing and edema. Your blood pressure may drop too low. You could experience drowsiness or dizziness as a result of taking a calcium channel blocker. Your gums may become overgrown. Sexual and liver dysfunction is possible. Certain drugs in this classification have the potential to worsen heart failure.
If you’re prescribed a beta blocker, you could experience a skin rash, diarrhea, nausea, dry skin, weakness, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, fatigue or coldness in the hands or feet.
Ace inhibitors can cause you to cough. Your potassium levels may increase. Your blood pressure might decrease to dangerously low levels. Those with kidney problems may notice their kidney function will worsen. Dizziness, weakness, headaches, drowsiness or a metallic taste in the mouth are possible. Rash, chest pain and sun sensitivity are possible, too.
If you take an angiotensin II receptor blocker, you might faint or experience lightheadedness, dizziness, diarrhea, muscle cramps and weakness. It’s possible you’ll have insomnia, sinusitis or another respiratory infection. You might have leg pain or an irregular heartbeat. You might develop sinusitis or another upper respiratory infection. You might start experiencing confusion.
Alpha-2 receptor agonists have the potential to cause drowsiness. You might potentially experience a decrease in your heart rate. Your blood pressure may decrease too low. The more serious side effects include cerebrovascular disease, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease or coronary insufficiency.
When you take a vasodilator, you might notice when you take it, you feel a burning sensation in your mouth. You might have flushing. It’s possible you’ll experience weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea. You might have a headache when you take a vasodilator.
What to Know Before Getting on a Blood Pressure Medication
Always tell your doctor about any medications you’re on or supplements you take because a potential drug interaction could occur. Once you’re on a medication, always report any changes you experience. Always take your medication as prescribed and visit your doctor for follow-ups since it’s possible your blood pressure medication dosage could need to be altered or discontinued. You may even need more than one medication to control your blood. You should never take yourself off of a blood pressure medication without talking to your health practitioner first.
Lowering Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Although you may still require a blood pressure medication, it’s possible to lower your blood pressure using lifestyle changes. For instance, if you’re overweight, consult with your physician about a safe diet plan for you. Reduce your sodium intake. Start exercising regularly. You should avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine or smoking cigarettes. Decrease your stress levels because stress has the potential to raise your blood pressure.
~ Health Scams Exposed