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Worried About High Costs of Blood Pressure and Other Medications – Learn Easy Ways to Save on Medication Costs
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common medical condition that can have severe consequences if not treated adequately. High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke and heart diseases.
Blood pressure medications are commonly used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. Based on the extent of your hypertension, your doctor will decide the best treatment course for you.
Hypertension is considered elevated if it is in the range of 120 to 129 mmHg systolic and less than 80 mmHg diastolic. It is considered Stage 1 if it is in the range of 130 mmHg to 139 mmHg systolic and between 80 to 89 mmHg diastolic, and Stage 2 if it is at least 140 mmHg systolic and at least 90 mmHg diastolic.
Doctors use a stepwise approach to manage hypertension. For most people, the treatment goal is to achieve a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mmHg.
Blood pressure drugs can be classified into the below categories:
Diuretics (Examples: Diamox (Generic: acetazolamide) and Zaroxolyn (Generic: Mykrox)
Beta blockers (Sectral or acebutolol and Tenormin or atenolol)
ACE inhibitors (Lotensin (benazepril), Capoten (captopril)
Alpha blockers (Doxazosin or Cardura, and Prazosin or minipress)
ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers, examples, Atacand (Candesartan, and Cozaar (losartan)
Calcium channel blockers (Cardizem or Dilacor, and Plendil or felodipiine.
Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors (Hylorel or guanadrel, and Serpasil or reserpine.
Vasodilators or blood vessel dilators (NitroQuick or nitroglycerin, and Caverject Impulse or alprostadil)
Combined alpha and beta blocker
Which medication would work for you?
Blood pressure medication is strongly advised if the patient has other medical condition also, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus in addition to hypertension.
People in the age group of 20 to 50 years should start with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril and enalapril are cheap and tolerated medications while ARBs such as losartan and valsartan do not cause you any dry-cough side effects commonly associated with ACE inhibitors. Beta blockers can be prescribed for younger people who cannot take ACE inhibitors or ARBs.
African-Americans should start with diuretics such as chlorthalidone as the first line treatment for high blood pressure. Calcium-channel blockers such as Norvasc are also recommended for African-Americans. People over 60 should start with thiazide diuretics and calcium channel blockers. Those with very high blood pressure (160/90) or above should start with combination medications.
Lifestyle changes for better outcomes
Combination therapy involves taking two hypertensive medications, each from a different drug category. ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and ARBs are prescribed to the people with a history of diabetes, heart failure and heart attack to improve outcomes.
People with diabetes or kidney disease in addition to hypertension are generally prescribed ACE inhibitors or an ARB if ACE inhibitor is not tolerated. In most cases, a combination of lifestyle changes and hypertension medications can help you reach your blood pressure goals. In general, lower doses of blood pressure medications are as effective as higher doses, and cause fewer side effects.
Save on hypertension medications with a drug discount card
High blood pressure is a chronic condition and the medications once started are usually taken for the rest of the lifetime. As such, you may have to bear significant costs in your blood pressure medications especially if you need medications for your other diseases or other members in your family need medications for their variety of illnesses including flu, obesity, heart and kidney problems, erectile dysfunction, and other medical conditions.
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Disclaimer: The information and content posted on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always seek medical advice from a medical professional for diagnosis or treatment, including before embarking on and/or changing any prescription medication or for specific medical advice related to your medical history.