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WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly a third of all Americans. In hypertension, too much force is exerted when blood is pumped through the arteries. This results not only in damage to the blood vessels themselves, but also to other organs forced to bear the burden. Blood pressure is assessed by two parameters - systolic pressure and diastolic pressure - which measure, respectively, the maximum pressure exerted on the arteries during heart contraction and the minimum pressure in the vessels between heart contractions. In adults, blood pressure is considered normal if the upper number (systolic pressure) is in the 90-120 range and the lower number (diastolic pressure) is in the 60-80 range. What is the first drug prescribed for hypertension? There are three main classes of drugs that are usually in the first-line treatment of hypertension: 1. calcium channel blockers (CCBs) 2. angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors or ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) 3. diuretics. WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATIONS? In terms of dollar sales, there are 5 top drugs for high blood pressure. Angiotensin II receptor blocker valsartan (Diovan) at the forefront of drugs for high blood pressure, beta-blocker metoprolol, generic combination of valsartan and HCTZ, olmesartan (Benicar), and olmesartan and HCTZ (Benicar HCT). What are the top 10 blood pressure medications? Examples of these drugs include:
- amlodypine (Norvasc, Lotrel)
- diltiazem (Cardizem CD, Cardizem SR, Dilacor XR, Tiazac)
- felodipine (Plendil)
- isradipine (DynaCirc, DynaCirc CR)
- nicardipine (Cardene SR)
- nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia XL)
- nisoldipina (Sular)
- werapamil (Calan SR, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan)
- inhibitory ACE i
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Reserpine can also be harmful during pregnancy and should only be used if there are no other alternatives.
- Safe drugs to use include methyldopa and potentially some diuretics and beta-blockers, including labetalol.
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- Also, alcohol consumption causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, which can persist if drinking exceeds the "moderation" level.