Taking Medications to Treat High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure monitor and daily medications

There are several types of medicines which can be used to treat high blood pressure, and your healthcare provider has guidelines on which to start out with first, and if needed either increase the doses or add or switch to another medication. In order to come up with the best combination that fits you personally, this may take some trials and changes over time. I have high blood pressure, which was particularly resistant to treatment, and currently I’m on three different medications that I take daily, without side effects! The key is to religiously take your medication every day. Important things to remember about high blood pressure medications are:

  1. You may have initial side effects such as fatigue. Often over time such side effects go away or become much less even on the same dose.
  2. If you persist with a side effect, do not just discontinue the medication. Talk with your healthcare provider first, who may be able to prescribe a different dose or dosing schedule (e.g. spreading out the dose over 2-3 times a day to minimize side effects) or switch you to another drug.
  3. Some people will need to be on 2 or three drugs to adequately control their blood pressure (as I do). It may take some trial and error to arrive at the right combination which consistently lowers your blood pressure while at the same time giving you minimal-to-no side effects. Be patient and remember why you are doing this.
  4. Throughout all this adjusting, it is important to keep a log of your daily blood pressures and share these with your healthcare provider. Otherwise you will not know the true effectiveness of the treatment.
  5. If the cost of medication is an issue, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist and they may be able to provide you with cheaper options.
  6. You may be able to reduce your high blood pressure medicine amount, again if you take steps to correct your weight and diet, and other non-medication efforts (see High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)”

The goal of any anti-high blood pressure treatment or treatment combination, is to bring you back into the normal blood pressure range. It is also important to take care of high blood pressure while you are still relatively young. Waiting until you have a major disease caused by this is like running your car with little to no transmission fluid and waiting for you transmission to start failing. Fixing things at that late state will be much more costly with worse results. If it is your own body and you need to earn a wage to support your family, your organ damage may be extremely costly to fix as well and ruin your quality of life. Early intervention can prevent this.

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