Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
It may take trial and error to find the proper medication or combination of medications that will help control hypertension in each case. It is important to take the medications as prescribed and only discontinue them on the advice of your health care
Water Pills (diuretics)
Diuretics are used very widely to control mildly high blood pressure, and
are often used in combination with other medications.
They increase sodium excretion and urine output and decrease blood volume.
The sensitivity to the effect of other hormones in your body is decreased.
Beta-blockers reduce heart rate and decrease the force of heart contraction
by blocking the action of adrenaline receptors. Beta blockers are widely
prescribed and effective but can cause increased fatigue and decreased exercise
tolerance because they prevent an increased heart rate as a normal response to
They are also prescribed for people who have associated heart disease,
angina, or history of a heart attack.
ACE inhibitors stop the production in the body of a chemical called
angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to contract. Narrower blood vessels
are associated with increased blood pressure. Relaxing artery walls leads to
lower blood pressure.
Blockers of Central Sympathetic (autonomic nervous) System
These agents block messages from the brain's autonomic nervous system that
contract blood vessels. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the
unconscious nervous system of the body that controls heart rate, breathing rate,
and other basic functions.
These medications relax blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.