Antihypertensives are pharmacologic agents used to lower blood pressure to normal levels or near normal levels. The initiation and intensity of drug treatment depends on blood pressure level, the individual’s risk factors (smoking, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, older than 60, male, postmenopausal women, and family history of cardiovascular disease for women under 65 and men under 55 years of age), and target organ damage (e.g., strokeor TIA, nephropathy, peripheral artery disease, retinopathy) or cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular risks decrease when the blood pressure is below 139/89. Typical agents for treating hypertension include diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, peripheral alpha selective blockers, central alpha2 agonists, direct vasodilators, and adrenergic antagonists.
Hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, renal failure, congestive heart failure,...
References and Readings
- Houston, M. C., Pulliam Meador, B., & Moore Schipani, L. (2000). Handbook of antihypertensive therapy (10th ed.). Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus.Google Scholar