Navigating Hypertension: A Comprehensive Look at the Top 5 High Blood Pressure Medications
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects millions of people worldwide and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately, a variety of medications are available to help manage and control blood pressure.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top five high blood pressure medications, their mechanisms, potential side effects, and considerations for choosing the right treatment.
1) ACE Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors, or Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors, are a large family of blood pressure medications including Captopril, Enalapril and Lisinopril. ACE inhibitors are usually used in all patients who are diagnosed with hypertension before the age of 50. They are also very useful in patients with heart failure and diabetes. ACE inhibitors work by decreasing the level of a certain hormone called Angiotensin. This hormone causes the body to retain salt and water and causes the blood vessels to constrict, elevating the blood pressure. ACE inhibitors have another desirable effect which is the decrease of protein excretion in urine, which is a side effect of diabetes and high blood pressure, which in itself causes kidney damage.
The main side effect of ACE inhibitors is dry cough, which is manageable by changing them to another similar group of medications called Angiotensin Receptor Blockers or ARBs.