Many different medications can be used to treat the underlying causes of congestive heart failure, including blood pressure medications:
- Thiazide diuretics -- Also known as "water pills," this type of medication acts on your kidneys to help your body eliminate sodium and water, reducing blood volume and blood pressure. If you're not taking a diuretic and your blood pressure remains high, talk to your doctor about adding one or replacing a drug you currently take with a diuretic. If you are over age 80, your doctor may recommend a special type of thiazide diuretic, indapamide (Lozol), as it may be more effective at lowering your blood pressure. Thiazide diuretics are often the first choice in high blood pressure medications, although not the only one.
- Beta-blockers -- These medications reduce the workload on your heart and open your blood vessels, causing your heart to beat more slowly and with less force. When prescribed alone, beta-blockers may not work as well as when they are combined with a thiazide diuretic.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors -- These medications help relax blood vessels by blocking the formation of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels. ACE inhibitors may be important for people with coronary artery disease, heart failure, or kidney failure. ACE inhibitors may not work as well when prescribed alone, but they're effective when combined with a thiazide diuretic.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers -- These medications help relax blood vessels by blocking cell reactions. Like ACE inhibitors, they are useful for people with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
- Calcium channel blockers -- These medications help relax the muscles of your blood vessels; some can slow your heart rate. If you are a grapefruit lover, please heed this word of caution: Grapefruit juice interacts with some calcium channel blockers, increasing blood levels of the medication and putting you at higher risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you're concerned about this interaction.
- Renin inhibitors -- These medications slow down the production of an enzyme produced in your kidneys called renin. This enzyme initiates a cascade of chemical steps that increases blood pressure. The drug Tekturna works by reducing the ability of renin to start this process. The drug is still being studied to figure out its ideal usage and dosage for people with high blood pressure.
Many different medications can be used to treat the underlying
causes of congestive heart failure, including blood pressure
medications: Thiazide diuretics -- Also known as "water pills,"
this type of medication acts on your kidneys to help... More