Hypertension Medication Side Effects – Do You Know What Your Drug Can Do to You?
Hypertension medications have made improvements over the past years and that’s good news for people who have been prescribed those antihypertensive drugs. Some drugs have improved potency which means lower doses are required. Others work in ways that did not exist several years ago and also allow for lower dosages or more effective combinations of drugs.
So if there have been so many improvements, why do you feel so lousy?
These drugs still come with side effects. Understand that hypertension treatment is a numbers game. Your doctor will start with a low dosage on one or two medicines and will continue to adjust both type of drugs and dosages until a combination is found that controls your condition. At least it controls it for now. If you condition changes, or you develop intolerance to the drug, the mix and match process begins again.
Here’s a sample of what you can expect in the way of side effects for a few of the classes of drugs:
Diuretics are the oldest and least expensive form of treatment for high blood pressure. Diuretics flush sodium and excess fluids from the body reducing blood volume. The less blood in the system, the less pressure required to pump it. Thiazide diuretics can also prevent sodium from being reabsorbed in the body. Side effects include:
Thirst, potassium depletion, frequent urination, weakness, impotence, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, constipation and confusion.
Anti-adrenergics work by limiting the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine which have a stiffening effect on the blood vessels. Without this effect both the vessels and heart are more relaxed and less pressure is required to pump blood. Side effects:
Depression, fatigue, wheezing, insomnia, impotence and a decrease in good cholesterol HDL can occur as a result of taking this class of drug. The very scary part is do not miss taking your pill as prescribed. Sudden withdrawal can trigger an angina or heart attack.
ACE Inhibitors. This class is one of the most effective in controlling blood pressure. This drug works by deactivating angiotensin-converting enzyme which prevents the kidney from absorbing sodium and retaining water. Left unchecked, these enzymes can stiffen blood vessels and increase pressure. Side effects include:
Cough, rash, fluid retention and loss of taste. May also cause fetal abnormalities.
So that’s the popular line up of hypertension medications and their side effects. Is there an alternative to these?
The answer is yes, if you want to make some changes in the way you live your life.
The American Heart Association endorses changes in diet, exercise and stress management as the best way to control hypertension. If you are fed up with the side effects, the expense, or simply the fact that you will be reliant on daily medication for the rest of your life, then you need to learn about the alternatives.
Natural approaches can not only control your high blood pressure, it can cure it and reverse much of the damage that has already been done. Take responsibility for your health and learn how to live without the drugs.