There are many types of blood pressure medication. Once you have been diagnosed with hypertension you will probably be put on a regime of one or more of these.
It is common to take more than one kind of blood pressure tablets as they work in different ways to lower your blood pressure. Here is a run-down of the main types:
Calcium chanel blockers. This type of medication works by relaxing the artery walls, making the artery wider, which has the effect of lowering blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors. These work in a different way by adjusting the hormone levels in the body that normally affect blood pressure.
Angiotensin receptor blockers. Called ARB’s for short, these also work by controlling hormones that affect blood pressure, but different ones.
Thiazide diuretics. These medications work by helping the body eliminate excess fluid build up, which is one of the commonest causes of high blood pressure.
The above four are now the favoured blood pressure medication used by the medical profession, having superceded the once commonly prescribed beta-blockers.
These are not used as much these days, as the newer medications have proved more effective in most cases. Although they are still usefully prescribed in some patients with certain underlying conditions.
As previously mentioned, it is common for sufferers of hypertension to be prescribed more than one type of blood pressure medication. As they all work in different ways and it is unlikely that one on it’s own will completely control your high blood pressure.
It may also take a little while to find the right “cocktail” and dosage of blood pressure tablets for a patient, depending upon the reaction of the individual to any side-effects etc.
In my own case I remember it was around 6 months before my doctor settled on a combination of amlodipine and bendroflumethiazide. It was more than 6 months before I could pronounce the second one!