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HBP Patient Guide

Check. Change. Control. nnACE inhibitors: These medications work by expanding blood vessels and reducing resistance inside them. By doing this, ACE inhibitors allow blood to flow more easily and reduce the workload on the heart. Side effects can include skin rash, loss of taste, and a chronic, dry hacking cough. In rare instances, kidney damage can result. ACE inhibitors should not be taken by pregnant women, and are not recommended for most women of child-bearing age. nnAngiotensin II receptor antagonists: These medications stop a hormone called angiotensin II from narrowing the blood vessels. These can cause occasional dizziness. They should not be used in pregnant women. nnBeta blockers: These reduce the heart rate and decrease cardiac output, which both help lower blood pressure. Side effects can include insomnia, cold hands or feet, tiredness or depression, asthma symptoms, or a slow heartbeat. For people with diabetes who take insulin, beta blockers have to be monitored carefully. Women receiving beta blockers who are or may become pregnant should consult with their healthcare providers to determine the safest treatment strategy. nnCalcium channel blockers: These interrupt the movement of calcium into the heart and blood vessel cells. These can cause palpitations, swollen ankles, constipation, headache, and dizziness. Side effects can vary depending on the specific calcium channel blocker prescribed. nnCentral agonists: These work by limiting the ability of blood vessels to expand and contract, thus lowering blood pressure. These can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure while standing or moving, which can make you feel weak or faint. They can also cause drowsiness or sluggishness, dry mouth, constipation, fever, or anemia. nnPeripheral andrenergic inhibitors: These lower blood pressure by blocking the chemical message the brain sends to the blood vessels to make them constrict. These medications are typically only prescribed if other medications don’t help. Stuffy nose, diarrhea, or heartburn can be side effects from this medication. nnBlood vessel dilators: These cause the blood vessel walls to relax, which helps them expand more easily and allow blood to flow more freely. These can cause headaches, swelling around the eyes, heart palpitations, or aches and pains in the joints. 14


HBP Patient Guide
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