Blood Pressure Home > High Blood Pressure Treatment

In many cases, treatment for high blood pressure begins with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and increasing physical activity. Other lifestyle changes that can help with high blood pressure include following a low-sodium diet. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower blood pressure to a normal level, treatment may include medications such as beta blockers.

High Blood Pressure Treatment: An Overview

High blood pressure is common in the United States. About 65 million American adults -- nearly 1 in 3 -- have high blood pressure. High blood pressure treatment begins with lifestyle changes. For a lot of people, this is the only treatment necessary. These lifestyle changes include:
  • Losing weight if overweight (losing 10 pounds can help)
  • Increasing physical activity (walking 30 minutes per day can help)
  • Following a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods (see DASH Diet)
  • Choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation.
If lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient to lower blood pressure, medication may be prescribed.

Blood Pressure Medication

In addition to lifestyle changes, treatment for some people may include blood pressure medication. There are many types of high blood pressure medication, and each one works in a slightly different way. People often react to medicine in different ways, so you may need to try a few different types of high blood pressure medication before your doctor finds the best medicine for you.
If your healthcare provider prescribes medication as part of your treatment for high blood pressure, be sure to take your pills exactly as directed. Even if you feel well, you still need to take your medicine. It is impossible to feel the damage that could be occurring inside of your body until it is too late.
Types of Medication Used for High Blood Pressure Treatment
There are several categories of high blood pressure medication. Often, a combination of drugs works better than one drug alone. The main types of medication used for treating high blood pressure include:
  • Beta blockers
  • Diuretics
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
  • Alpha blockers
  • Alpha-beta blockers
  • Nervous system inhibitors
  • Vasodilators.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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