At one point, Doctors hesitated to prescribe medication for patients with a blood pressure reading of less than 159/99 Hg. This was described as mild hypertension and as such not deemed at the time to be dangerous.
The rationale behind this that Doctors felt that the adverse side effects of the medication used at the time would possibly be of more danger to the patient than the high blood pressure readings.
Times have changed however and this line of thinking is no longer in use. Both of the above perceptions relating to the danger of the side effects and the mild nature of the blood pressure readings have lead to the discontinuance of this practice.
Recent research has firmly established the value of treating stage 1 Hypertension (a reading of between 140/90 159/99 Hg) with medication if necessary. It is now also considered prudent to treat patients who also suffer from Diabetes and High Blood Pressure if their readings are as low as 130/80 Hg. The sensitivity of medication nowadays is such that blood pressure levels can be controlled with much lower dosages meaning that the danger of side effects can also be reduced.
There has never been a greater variety of medication for High Blood Pressure available to Doctors from which to choose. These antihypertensive drugs also include many types of medication where there is a combination of several different types of drug. The newer types of medication quite often have a different chemical makeup and structure compared to the older ones but quite often produce nearly identical effects on the human body.
The range and sophistication of medication is such now that Doctors can produce care plans and treatment programmes tailored to the individual patient and in most cases prescribe medication that have little or minimal side effect to the patient and protect against possible further complications down the line.
On of the most important aspects of where treatment differs nowadays is that Doctors can quite possibly provide one single course of medication that can treat conditions like Hypertension and accompanying medical problems like congestive Heart Failure.
The generally accepted initial approach to Hypertension Treatment nowadays is to start slow & low and then build gradually where possible gradually increasing the dosage of the medicine prescribed until the blood pressure level sinks to a normal level. If this is not shown to work or causes troublesome side effects then a wide number of replacement medications are available for use.
The presently accepted course of treatment for Stage 1 Hypertension is to start with one drug and add a second if the blood pressure reading does not respond or decrease to normal levels. The target levels here are 140/90 Hg. For those with diabetes or chronic kidney disease then the ideal targets are reduced to 130/80 Hg. For Stage 2 Hypertension (the old levels of conventional High Blood Pressure) then the accepted treatment programme is to start with at least 2 drugs. Again if the response to this is not within an acceptable timeframe then the introduction of a third drug may occur.
Just when you think that Hypertension can be controlled with purely medication. There is a marked improvement to all of these programmes when the medication is accompanied by the introduction and implementation of lifestyle changes such as a well balanced diet, reduction in the consumption of alcohol, increased exercise and a complete cessation of smoking.
Nuff said really.