Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects millions of people across the United States. It is usually symptomless, but patients with the condition are at a higher risk of developing a range of other serious conditions, including: stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, vision loss and kidney disease.
Lifestyle factors often contribute to patients developing hypertension. Among these are obesity, smoking, poor diet and nutrition, and alcohol consumption. Patients diagnosed with the condition are usually advised to reduce their salt intake, increase exercise levels and improve their diet. Medication may also be prescribed to lower blood pressures.
Several drug classes, known as antihypertensive medications are available to treat the hypertension. These include thiazide diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, loop diuretics and beta agonists. Drugs may be used on their own, but it is more common for patients to be prescribed a combination of these medications.