Blood Pressure Medications
Types of Blood Pressure Medications
Here's a rundown on the main types of drugs and how they work. Often, two or more drugs work better than one.
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow. The ACE inhibitors cause the vessels to relax and blood pressure goes down.
Alpha-beta-blockerswork the same way as alpha-blockers but also slow the heartbeat, asbeta-blockers do. As a result, less blood is pumped through the vesselsand the blood pressure goes down.
Alpha-blockersreduce nerve impulses to blood vessels, which allows blood to pass moreeasily, causing the blood pressure to go down.
Angiotensin antagonists shield blood vessels from angiotensin II. As a result, the vessels become wider and blood pressure goes down.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers act similar to ACE inhibitors, but by blocking the action of the recptor for the hormone angiotensin.
Beta-blockersreduce nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels. This makes theheart beat slower and with less force. Blood pressure drops and theheart works less hard.
Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
CCBs keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and pressure goes down.
Diuretics are sometimes called "water pills" because they work in the kidney and flush excess water and sodium from the body.
Nervous system inhibitors
Nervous system inhibitors relax blood vessels by controlling nerve impulses. This causes the blood vessels to become wider and the blood pressure to go down.
Vasodilators directly open blood vessels by relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls, causing the blood pressure to go down.
Adapted from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
Bunjal Chicken Sauteed Broccoli Rabe Poppy Seed Dressing Moroccan Cooked Carrot Salad Spicy Pita Chips Sugar Snap Peas in a Snap Mouthwatering Macaroon Cookies Pork Chops with Onion and Cherry Glaze Fat Free Strawberry Cheese Cake Braised Garlic Ginger Chops
Because I apparently have a lot of free time on my hands and because I’m remarkably immature, I offer my first installment of a series I will call, “Typo.” If you’re like me, you might be lazy. You might have a pile of clean clothes on the side of your bed the size of an igloo that you promised your wife you’d put away weeks ago. You might also shorten words because one-syllable words are way easier to say than two. I often refer to Dexcom as Dex....