Common

High Blood Pressure Drugs and How They Work

For most people, medication is a major part of the plan to lower their blood pressure. These drugs, also called “anti-hypertensive” medicine, won’t cure high blood pressure. But they can help bring it back down to a normal range.
Which medicine you should take depends on things like:

Many people need more than one type of medication to control their high blood pressure. It may take some time working with your doctor to find the drugs and doses that work best for you.

Diuretics

These are often called “water pills.” They’re usually the first type of high blood pressure medicine that your doctor will try.
They help your kidneys take salt and water out of your body. Because you have less total fluid in your blood vessels, like a garden hose that’s not turned on all the way, the pressure inside will be lower.

Sometimes you can get more than one diuretic in a single pill.

Beta-Blockers

They’ll slow down your heartbeat and keep your heart from squeezing hard. This makes blood go through your vessels with less force.

Alpha-Blockers

These stop nerve signals before they can tell your blood vessels to tighten. Your vessels stay relaxed, giving the blood more room to move and lowering your overall blood pressure.

ACE Inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors prevent your body from making a hormone that tells blood vessels to tighten. With less of this hormone in your body, your blood vessels stay more open.

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