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Medicines for Hypertension

Introduction

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal disease. According to Health Fact 20091, heart diseases & disease of pulmonary circulation causes 16.09% of deaths and cerebrovascular diseases cause 8.43% of deaths in the hospitals of Ministry of Health (MOH). Besides, diseases of the circulatory system cause 6.91% of hospitalization in the hospitals of MOH. Hypertension can be a silent killer if you do not aware of how your blood pressure level is. Early detection of hypertension can help in prevent the complication caused by long term hypertensive condition in our body.

Lifestyle changes for hypertension

A healthy lifestyle is important in reducing the risk of hypertension. Quit smoking if you are a smoker as smoking can cause a bad complication for blood pressure. You need to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Take 10 minutes to 30 minutes moderately everyday to exercise. Weight reduction can further reduce the risk factors for hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. For your diet, avoid eating meals with high cholesterols and salt. Maintain a healthy diet by taking lots of fruits and vegetables. Stress management is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do not stress yourself too much as it may causes uncontrolled hypertension as well. Always find ways to reduce your stress. Having a good relationship with your family members and always talk to them when you are facing problems may help in reducing stress as well.

Classification for hypertension

Classification of Blood Pressure (adults=18 years old)

Category
Systolic (mmHg)
 
Diastolic (mmHg)
 
Optimal
<120
and
<80
Diagnosis of hypertension is made based on the average of two or more readings, taken at two or more visits to the health care providers
Prehypertension
120-139
and/or
80-89
Stage 1 HPT
140-159
and/or
90-99
Stage 2 HPT
160-179
and/or
100-109
Stage 3 HPT
=180
and/or
?110

Source: Clinical Practice Guidelines Management of Hypertension (3rd Edition)2

It is always a good practice for you to check your blood pressure regularly to prevent any further health complication. Take a note book and record the date, time, systolic and diastolic pressure. Heart rate can also be recorded for a better overview of your health condition. You may also consider investing in a blood pressure monitoring machine for a regular blood pressure monitoring.

Types of medications for hypertension

The medications for hypertension including diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), angiontensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Always refer to your health care providers for the suggestion of treatment for your hypertension. Once you started your hypertension medication, take the medication regularly and accordingly. Consult your doctors or pharmacists if you are facing any side effects from the medications.

Common Side Effects

The side effects for the treatment of hypertension depend on the type of medications used. Some hypertension medication may cause mild side effects like headache, cough, dizziness and fatigue. In mild cases, these side effects do not normally require medical treatment.

In patients with hypertension who has started the antihypertensive medication and facing moderate side effects like insomnia, decreased sex drive, shortness of breath or depressed mood, you should consult with your health care professionals to get more advice and consultation on whether should continue the medication or shift it to other more appropriate antihypertensive medications.

Some patients facing severe side effects like chest pain, difficulty in breathing, irregular heartbeats after using the antihypertensive medications should immediately refer to your health care professionals as these symptoms indicate that you need to be treated immediately.

How to report side effects

If you are facing any side effects after using the antihypertensive medications, you should report to your health care professionals. Your health care professionals will collect necessary information from you and report it to Ministry of Health. Do not feel uncomfortable for the reporting of side effects as the reports are necessary for Ministry of Health to monitor the prevalence cases of the reported side effects of the antihypertensive medications.

Precaution

In any conditions, do not attempt to treat your hypertension by taking your own medication without the consultation and advice from your health care professionals. Your health care professionals will evaluate your hypertensive condition by considering various factors before started any medications for you. Always refer to your health care professionals before taking any medications for the treatments of hypertension.

Conclusion

Hypertension may cause many major complications to our vital organs. Early detection and monitoring of blood pressure is important in prevent any further complication. Patients should always refer to their health care professionals for the proper treatment of hypertension. Any side effects caused by the usage of antihypertensive medication should be report to their health care professionals as the data is important for the compilation of side effects incidence of antihypertensive agents.

Last reviewed : 23 April 2014
Writer : Lee Sit Wai
Accreditor : Che Pun bt. Bujang