Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is a chronic condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is too high. This condition is now considered a part of metabolic syndrome co-existing with chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.
The commonly used anti-hypertensive agents that treat high blood pressure include - Diuretics
- work in the kidney and flush excess water and sodium from the body. Beta-blockers
- reduce nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels making the heart beat slower and with less force. This causes lowering of blood pressure. ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
- prevent the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II that narrows blood vessels and causes high blood pressure. Angiotensin antagonists or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
shield the blood vessels from angiotensin II, thus making them more relaxed. Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
do not allow calcium to enter the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, thus causing the blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of contraction of the heart. Alpha-blockers
lower blood pressure by reducing nerve impulses to blood vessels and allow blood to pass more easily. Alpha-beta-blockers
reduce nerve impulses to blood vessels and also slow the heartbeat to lower blood pressure. Nervous system inhibitors
- relax blood vessels by controlling nerve impulses. Vasodilators
- open blood vessels by relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls.