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High Blood Pressure Articles:

High Blood Pressure: What is it really?

10 Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

Cause and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure diagnosis: The safe and effective way!

High Blood Pressure Diagnosis Page #2

The Effective Treatment of High Blood Pressure #1

The Effective Treatment of High Blood Pressure #2

Medications for High Blood Pressure:

Aldactazide Medication

Aceon: High blood pressure medicine

Accupril Medication:

Sectral for High Blood Pressure? 

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Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Community Agencies and Resources: St. Louis, Missouri

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

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Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

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The Effective Treatment of High Blood Pressure

Page #2

The Effective Treatment of High Blood Pressure Page #1

Other types of antihypertensive drugs may be used to lower high blood pressure. While they all dilate arteries, they do it in different ways.  Alpha- blockers interfere with the hormone norepinephrine, which causes the constriction of arteries.  Alpha-beta-blockers actually combine the actions of alpha blockers and beta-blockers.  Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors interfere with the formation of angiotensin which is a hormone that causes the constriction of arteries.  Angiotensin II receptor blockers interfere with the action of angiotensin.  Calcium channel blockers work by blocking calcium from entering cells.  The results of these actions are that the arteries dilate and blood pressure is subsequently reduced.  Several of these medications also reduce the force of the contractions of the heart.

An individualís specific condition may make it more amenable to use one type of antihypertensive drug over another.  Obese people for example may respond better to a diuretic or calcium channel blocker.  For people who have diabetes in addition to high blood pressure or heart failure, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker may be recommended as these medications help to protect the kidneys.  For people who have had angina or a heart attack, glaucoma, or migraine headaches, a beta-blocker may be recommended.  For men with enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), a alpha-blocker or alpha-beta-blocker may be particularly helpful.  Alpha-blockers and alpha-beta-blockers relax muscles of the urethra and bladder.  Urine then flows more easily.  In older people however, taking alpha-beta-blockers or alpha-blockers may lead to urinary incontinence or lightheadedness. 

The goal of treatment is to lower blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg or even possibly lower, for people with kidney disorder or diabetes.  Older people may find this rather difficult however.  For example, the dose of the drugs or the number of drugs needed to decrease blood pressure below this level may cause the level of side effects to have a detrimental effect on the elderly.  However, any decrease in blood pressure is better than none at all. 

 

Outlook for the future for individuals with high blood pressure: 

Many people with high blood pressure may have to take antihypertensive drugs for their entire life. If medications are discontinued your blood pressure may go back up, although it may also remain at the lower level for the first several months following the discontinuation.  Doctors do try to reduce the dose sometimes, but if the blood pressure increases the dose is then increased once again. 

If you're concerned about the side effects or if you are taking several drugs, you may want to ask your doctor about reducing the dose or changing the medication.  As long as high blood pressure treatment is adequate, people can expect to live a long life without many restrictions.

Page #1 Effective treatment of High Blood Pressure

Adapted from information from the Merck Manual of Health and Aging

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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