Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mm HG over 80 mm Hg, or 120/80. Elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 mm Hg, or 121-129/80. Hypertension starts at 130/80, and stage 2 hypertension is any pressure above 140/90.
Your doctor may suggest one or more blood pressure medications if you have stage 1 or 2 hypertension. Hypertension increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, so medication can help combat the symptoms of high blood pressure. A lisinopril prescription, for example, treats high blood pressure and helps prevents heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems. The classes of blood pressure medication include:
- ACE inhibitors, which stand for Angiotensin-converting enzyme.
- Alpha-blockers, which reduce your arteries’ resistance and relax the vascular walls.
- Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists, which decrease the adrenaline-producing portion of your involuntary nervous system.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers, which stop arteries from narrowing.
- Beta-blockers, which reduces your heart’s workload and rate.
- Calcium channel blockers, which prevent calcium from entering arteries and the heart.
- Central agonists, which decrease your blood vessels’ ability to contract or tense up.
- Combined alpha and beta-blockers, which are typically reserved for a hypertensive crisis but are prescribed if you have a high risk for heart failure.
- Diuretics, which rid your body of excess salt and water.
- Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors, which prevent messages from your brain to constrict muscles and vessels.
- Vasodilators, which relax and widen blood vessels.
Your doctor will review your medication options based on your medical history and diagnosis. Some medications, like ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers, are not well-suited to all patients. Pregnant women, for example, cannot take certain blood pressure medications since they will affect the fetus’ health.
It is also equally important to know which medications can increase your blood pressure. Some over-the-counter drugs can aggravate medical conditions like hypertension.
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication that weakens the immune system. The drug is often prescribed for organ and bone marrow transplants so that the body will accept the transplantation. However, doctors often recommend cyclosporine blood pressure monitoring since the drug increases blood pressure.
Aleve and high blood pressure is another bad combination. The over-the-counter drug can increase blood pressure and make it worse if you already have hypertension. Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) that increase blood pressure include:
Before ordering blood pressure medication online, make sure to check with your doctor and pharmacist about possible drug complications. You might consider making some lifestyle changes instead of taking medication.