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How Safe Are High Blood Pressure Medicines?

Aug 17, 2007
Hypertension is increasing among America's population. Researchers suggest between 25-33 percent of citizens have reason to be very concerned with checking/regulating their blood pressure. If hypertension is diagnosed, the family physician will probably suggest several lifestyle changes, to ascertain whether the problem can be solved without more invasive treatment. However, many people will require one or more high blood pressure medicines, to prevent dangerous health issues, in addition to encouraging healthier choices.

Among the plethora of medicines, the more common antihypertensive drugs used are ACE inhibitors. "These drugs prevent your blood vessels from constricting by blocking your body from making angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a chemical that constricts blood vessels". If a sufferer of high blood pressure has already adjusted his/her lifestyle and ACE inhibitors are required, the medicine will be a lifelong addition to the daily regiment.

An alternative to ACE inhibitors may be another high blood pressure medicine called calcium channel blockers. "These open up the blood vessels making it easier for the heart to work" (Medicines for High Blood Pressure). Calcium channel blockers also prevent the vessels from constricting. However, only a doctor can determine the right medicines for his/her patients.

Anyone can suffer from hypertension, and require permanent, or temporary, treatment. However, the majority of patients are either elderly or pregnant. For the individuals developing the disease in later years, daily medications are likely necessary for the remainder of life. Oftentimes, the family will have a history of hypertension.

In contrast, pregnancies are often plagued by increased blood pressure. Because of potential side effects to the unborn child, doctors generally avoid prescribing high blood pressure medicine. If the baby is close enough to term, the doctor may opt to perform a caesarian, and take the baby early. Mothers have been known to stroke out before the baby is born, or have added complications during delivery. Changes are, once the pregnancy ends, the blood pressure will return to safe pre-pregnancy levels.

If anyone's blood pressure remains at unacceptably high levels, the potential for life-threatening complications increase. In addition to heat attacks and strokes, individuals suffering from high blood pressure can also have damaged kidneys or eyes. Unbelievably, the pressure may eventually cause renal failure, leading to dialysis and transplants. "Your kidneys are responsible for filtering and excreting excess fluid and waste from your blood - processes that are highly dependent on the smooth operation of your blood vessels" (Mayo Clinic Staff). In addition, high blood pressure can be linked to vision problems. In some cases, the patient will go completely blind. Excess pressure can damage the delicate vessels leading to the retina.

In conclusion, do not take any chances. A check only takes a minute, and that particular minute can save a life. Do not let the disease dictate the health of the entire body. If the doctor prescribes medicine, to prevent devastating consequences, take it. With regular checks, a little problem can be curtailed, before it becomes a matter of life and death.
About the Author
Erol Orderland writes about aging and disease from his home in the Netherlands. Visit High Blood Pressure Medicines for more Blood Pressure info and High Blood Pressure Medicines News for up to the minute news
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