Antihypertensive medications along with lifestyle modifications are the mainstay of treatment for patients with hypertension. There are a variety of antihypertensive medications that can be used including diuretics, beta blockers, angiotension receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and ace inhibitors (ACEI).
These medications are used to lower blood pressure by reducing circulating fluid volume. There are several types of diuretics such as thiazides (hydrochlorothiazide), loop diuretics (furosemide, ethracrynic acid) and potassium sparing diuretics (spironolactone).
Beta-blockers block sympathetic nerve impulses in the heart leading to a reduction in the heart rate. This results in a decrease in cardiac output. Ex. Atenolol, Propranolol, Metoprolol.
Has a more specific effect on the system than ACE inhibitors. This medication specifically blocks angiotensin II from binding to vessel receptors, preventing vasoconstriction. Ex. Losartan, Olmesartan.
Calcium channel blockers causes systemic vasodilatation resulting in a reduced peripheral vascular resistance. Ex. Diltiazem, Verapamil, Nifedipine.
This medication has several effects. It decreases the amount of angiotensin II and aldosterone in the system resulting in vasodilation and lowering circulating fluid volume. ACE inhibitors slow the progression of renal damage in patients with diabetes. Ex. Captopril, Lisinopril, Enalapril.
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