Steppedcare Treatment

The prescribed method of treating hypertension begins with a nonpharmacolog-ical approach such as lifestyle changes: losing weight, reducing sodium intake, limiting alcohol intake, smoking cessation, and increasing physical activity.

If blood pressure remains elevated, then treatment moves to the next step. The patient is administered diuretics or beta-blockers.

If blood pressure still remains high, then the dose of diuretics or beta-blockers is increased or a calcium channel blocker, ACE inhibitor, angrotension II blocker, or combination drug replaces or is added to the treatment plan.

If blood pressure does not decrease, the patient is given a diuretic with a beta-blocker or a second drug is added such as a calcium channel blocker, ACE inhibitor, alpha blocker, or centrally acting sympatholytic.

If blood pressure still does not decrease, two or three additional drugs are administered to the patient. These include alpha blockers, direct-acting vasodilators, or adrenergic neuron blockers.

A list of drugs utilized in the treatment of high blood pressure is provided in the Appendix. Detailed tables show doses, recommendations, expectations, side effects, contraindications, and more; available on the book's Web site (see URL in Appendix).

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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