Health Watch -- High Blood Pressure: Medication (part 1)

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about high blood pressure and what you can do about it. High blood pressure can't be entirely prevented, but you can delay it with lifestyle measures. But at some point, you may need medication to keep your blood pressure under control.

Dr. Ron Victor, chief of the hypertension division at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and an expert on high blood pressure, says more than 70 medications have been developed for treating this malady. One class of medications is diuretics. These are among the oldest drugs for treating blood pressure. They work by removing excess fluids and salt from the body. They generally have few side effects, but it may take time for them to work. Another class of drugs is the ACE inhibitors. These work by blocking the action of a particular enzyme, and they provide additional protection for the heart and kidneys.

Next on Health Watch, we'll look at more drugs.


March 2006

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.