The overall goal of treatment for hypertension is to lower your blood pressure. Your WellStar physician will usually prescribe a combination of medications and lifestyle changes in order for you to reach your blood pressure goals. Your treatment hinges on adhering to the plan you and your physician devise, particularly making sure you take your medication exactly as prescribed.
In every case, your WellStar physician will help you weigh the benefits of each treatment approach and make an experienced recommendation for the best outcome. You can feel confident your decision will be based on both your input and the expertise and recommendations of your experienced physician.
Taking Care of Hypertension
Changing your lifestyle, losing weight, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake can all go a long way toward controlling your blood pressure. When such changes are not enough, your WellStar physician may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure. Such medicines include:
- Diuretics: Sometimes called “water pills,” these medications work on your kidneys to help your body eliminate sodium and water, thus reducing blood volume. Diuretics are often among the first – but not the only – choice for high blood pressure medications.
- Beta blockers: These medications reduce the heart’s workload and expand blood vessels, thus causing your heart to work slower with less force.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These medications help ease blood vessels by blocking the formation of natural chemicals that make vessels thinner.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers: These medications help relax blood vessels by blocking the action – not the formation – of natural chemicals that make vessels thinner.
- Calcium channel blockers: These medications help relax the muscles of blood vessels.
- Renin inhibitors, including aliskiren (Tekturna®): These medications slow down the production of rennin, an enzyme produced in your kidneys that can stimulate blood pressure.
Taking Care of Resistant Hypertension
When the usual medications and lifestyle changes fail to make a difference in blood pressure, your WellStar physician may prescribe other medications such as:
Alpha blockers: These medications affect nerve impulses in ways to reduce how natural chemicals narrow blood vessels.
Alpha and beta blocker combination medications: In addition to reducing nerve impulses to blood vessels, these medications slow the heartbeat to reduce the amount of blood flowing through the vessels.
Central-acting agonists: These medications hinder your brain’s signals to the nervous system to increase your heart rate and narrow blood vessels.
Vasodilators: These medications work directly on the muscles in arterial walls, preventing them from tightening and, thus, making your arteries narrow.