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Hypertension medication and what it means for your health

Hypertension medication and what it means for your health

Check with your doctor or pharmacists for your options if you have hypertension.

What causes hypertension?

Check with your doctor or pharmacists for your options if you have hypertension.

In most people, the mechanisms that lead to hypertension include narrowing of the arteries related to the effect of sodium intake. They also include constriction of the arteries caused by “angiotensin II,” which is a hormone stimulated by an enzyme called “renin”. It effects of stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, which increases heart rate and causes blood vessels to constrict. About 80 percent of those with high blood pressure control their hypertension with drugs that either address the sodium volume mechanism or the renin-angiotensin mechanism, or both. Aside from diuretics, there are a few other medications involved. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), beta-receptor blockers, and alpha-receptor blockers.

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are smooth muscle dilators. Beta-receptor blockers block the effects of epinephrine (adrenaline). Alpha-receptor blockers block the effect of nerves in the sympathetic nervous system.

Now, what the heck does all of that mean? Well, I know we live in the age of self-diagnosis, but that’s why it’s so important to consult with an physician and pharmacist instead of “treating yourself” (no Aziz Ansari joke intended). That’s because your doctor will individualize your hypertension therapy to you.

What can I do about hypertension?

Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. But sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure. The type of medication your doctor prescribes depends on your blood pressure measurements and your other medical problems.

Of course, the less medication you take, the better. That’s coming from a pharmacist. If you have no idea how to start, we do some lifestyle coaching at HB Pharmacy under our Gaspar’s Best name. It’s not a prescribed plan to reverse high blood pressure or any other condition, not is it a diet. Our program is a lifestyle program designed to help you get off the diet roller coaster and lose weight sustainably. Check it out here.

Please give us a call if you have any questions.

John Bellitti
Owner and Pharmacist at HB Pharmacy, the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy of the Year

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