Essential Medication for Hypertension
by Kathryn Pless
Your doctor will prescribe the best medication for you based on your medical history.
Blood pressure refers to the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your system. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help control your blood pressure if it stays elevated. Some of these medications include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin II receptor blockers. Each type of medication works in a different way to help lower blood pressure. Your doctor may prescribe diuretics, or water pills, along with a blood pressure medication.
ACE inhibitors help relax blood vessels and prevent the production of the hormone angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to constrict. Examples of ACE inhibitors include Zestril, Altace and Capoten.
Beta blockers help the heart beat slower and make it easier for it to work by blocking some of the nerve impulses from the brain. This helps the heart beat with less force and lowers blood pressure. Common beta blockers include Lopressor, Corgard and Levatol.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers help blood vessels relax and lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering the cells of the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Common examples are Cardizem, Procardia, and Norvasc.
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
Angiotensin II receptor blockers work by preventing the hormone angiotensin II from entering the blood vessels. This helps blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure. Some examples of angiotensin II receptor blockers are Cozaar, Benicar and Diovan.
Take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Have your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure that your medication is working. Do not stop taking your medication without the supervision of your doctor.