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Antihypertensives

Also called: High Blood Pressure Medications, Hypertension Medications, Antihypertensive Drugs, Blood Pressure Medications, Drugs for Hypertension

- Summary
- About antihypertensives
- Potential side effects
- Drug and other interactions
- Lifestyle considerations
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC
Abdou Elhendy, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Robert I. Hamby, M.D., FACC, FACP

Summary

Antihypertensives are medications used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). People who are prescribed medication need to take it exactly as prescribed to avoid the serious medical problems associated with the condition. 

High blood pressure is a seHypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure (the force of blood against artery walls).rious problem when left untreated and it frequently has no symptoms. It can damage the heart and cardiovascular system and can contribute to heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure also affects other organs such as the kidneys and the eyes. Several classes of antihypertensive medications are available to treat high blood pressure.

This wide variety of antihypertensives and combinations of different medications may lengthen the time it takes to find the ideal treatment for each patient. People with high blood pressure are urged to be patient as the type and level of their medication are adjusted for optimal results. Frustration is common because many patients have no symptoms and cannot tell if a medication is working or not. Self-monitoring of blood pressure is often an important tool during antihypertensive therapy. It can provide important information about the effectiveness of therapy.

People taking antihypertensives are also encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing weight and getting regular exercise. Furthermore, they are encouraged to speak with their physician before taking any prescription medications, such as narcotics, or over-the-counter medications, such as diet pills.

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Review Date: 02-27-2007
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