How is high blood pressure treated with drug therapy?

Virtually any person with high blood pressure can control it with the many different drugs available today. But treatment must be tailored to the individual. Different types of drugs reduce blood pressure by different mechanisms, so it is important that you follow your doctor's instructions on how and when to take your pills. In choosing a drug for you, your doctor will consider such factors as your age, sex, and race. He may also consider the severity of your hypertension; other conditions you may have, such as heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels or family history; the potential side effects of the drug and its cost.

Most people take their prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs without problems. However, any anti-hypertensive drug can cause side effects. If side effects develop, tell your doctor.

To learn more:

Hypertension, Part One: A Patient Guide
HeartInfo, a medical education company, gives you tips on how to control your blood pressure.

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Written by: Janice C. May, M.P.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Tuesday May 13, 2008 12:17 PM