How to avoid side effects of blood pressure drugs

blood pressure measuring device
High blood pressure medicine can often come with side-effects, but there are ways to decrease these effects. (Photo: Unsplash)
High blood pressure tablets can often come with side effects, leaving people searching for remedies. Not long past middle-age, keeping your blood pressure under control is essential.اضافة اعلان

The medications commonly prescribed for hypertension (high blood pressure) have changed considerably over the past three decades, and there are a range of good drugs available.

These include thiazide-type diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, and indapamide), which work by helping to widen blood vessels and therefore lower blood pressure.

Other options are ACE inhibitors (enalapril and lisinopril), which relax blood vessels; angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs (losartan and valsartan), which act on hormones involved in restricting blood flow; and calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, diltiazem, and verapamil), which reduce the amount of calcium entering the artery walls, making it easier for the heart to pump blood.

All of these are equally effective in between 30 and 50 percent of patients. It is not unusual for there to be some trial and error when it comes to identifying the best drug for each individual, as side effects are common.

With any of these medications, you start by taking a low dose and only increase the level very gradually, perhaps over four to eight weeks. Constant supervision — often from a practice nurse — is essential, though monitoring your blood pressure is something you can do yourself. This reduces the frequency of face-to-face appointments, but you must still attend clinic at regular intervals.

The best “natural” approach involves weight loss if you are overweight, daily exercise (proven to play a role in lowering blood pressure), and eating less salt.

A regular meditative activity such as yoga or — my favorite — tai chi may also pay dividends. Unfortunately, there are no natural supplements proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure.

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