High Blood Pressure: Medication

There are many types of medicines available to help lower your blood pressure. It is important to take your blood pressure medication as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are many types of hypertension medications available to help keep your blood pressure in check. You may need to take more than one type of medicine to keep your condition under control. 

It is important to take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. Otherwise, the medicine may not work, cause undesired side effects, or result in harm to your body.

Related: Eating to Lower Blood Pressure

Common Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Medication

These are some common groups of high blood pressure medicines:
 • Diuretics get rid of excess water and salt (sodium) from the body
 • Beta blockers reduce heart rate and the heart’s output of blood
 • Calcium channel blockerskeep calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and dilate
 • Alpha blockers work on the nervous system to dilate the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily
 • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the formation of a substance called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to constrict
 • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (usually known as ARBs) block the action of angiotensin II at the blood vessel walls and thereby prevent the constriction of blood vessels
 • Vasodilators open blood vessels by relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls

Things to Note When Taking Hypertension Medication

 • Know the names and doses of the medicines you are taking
 • Take it reglarly as directed by your doctor
 • Never stop taking the medicine even if you feel better. It helps to lower your blood pressure and keeps it under control, which in turn helps to prevent other complications like stroke and heart attack. You may need to take the medicines for life
 • Ask for the doctor’s or pharmacist’s advice before crushing or splitting tablets; some should only be swallowed whole
 • Avoid taking alcohol
 • Check with your doctor or pharmacist if there is any food or other medicines that you need to avoid while taking this medicine
 • Take the medicine before or after food as indicated on the label, or according to the doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions
 • Never take someone else’s prescribed medicine or share yours with someone else
 • Inform the doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or are breastfeeding
 • Like all medicines, some people may be allergic to hypertension medicine. If you develop rashes, difficulty in breathing or swallowing after taking the medicine, stop medicating and seek medical attention immediately

Related: Guidelines on Taking Medicine

Tips to Help Take Hypertension Medication on Schedule

Take your medicine at the same time each day so that it becomes a habit.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double the dosage on your own.

How to Store Blood Pressure Medication

Follow any specific instructions for the storage of your medicines (e.g. some medicines require refrigeration, others do not). Unless instructed otherwise, store your medicines in a cool, dry place and protect them from moisture, heat and direct sunlight.

Store medicine in the original labelled container. Do not keep different types of medicine together in one container.

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