The truth about 5 popular hypertension drugs
High blood pressure drugs are quick and effective but have their downsides. Some may even affect the way your heart works. “There are many drugs available to treat hypertension and side effects constitute a long list,” says Dr. Howard J. Pratt, A-rated hypertension specialist at IU School of Medicine. But experts say the solution is to take multiple drugs in lower doses to limit side effects. According to doctors, some of the most common drugs include:
NORVASC: a calcium channel blocker that relaxes blood vessels. Side effects include headache, dizziness and heart palpitations. AVAPRO: an angiotensin II inhibitor that widens blood vessels but may cause mood changes, vomiting and weight gain. ZESTRIL: an ACE inhibitor, which blocks a compound that constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. It can cause fever, chest pains and depression. LASIX: a diuretic that flushes excess sodium and water out of your body and reduces pressure on the arteries. Diuretics offer fewer side effects and are generally limited to loss of appetite and body aches. LCZ696: This new drug has scientists hopeful. The drug combines a new class of hypertension medication with a commonly prescribed one called Diovan, which improves blood flow. Recent studies show these drugs work together to double the effectiveness of the commonly prescribed drug, while slashing side effects such as muscle cramps and dizziness.