The goal of treatment is to prevent health complications that may occur as a result of high blood pressure. Your doctor also may suggest steps to control disorders such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol, which may contribute to high blood pressure or may occur along with high blood pressure. Treating conditions such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol will reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Blood pressure goals aren't the same for everyone. Although everyone should strive to reach blood pressure readings of below 140/90, doctors recommend lower readings for people with certain conditions. The goal is 130/80 if you have or have had chronic kidney disease or diabetes.
The safest way to control your blood pressure is to change your lifestyle. But sometimes lifestyle changes alone can't reduce your blood pressure enough. You may also have to treat another medical condition besides high blood pressure. In these cases, you may need medication. Discuss with your doctor the goals of treatment and the roles that both lifestyle changes and medications can play. Maintaining lifestyle changes may improve the effectiveness of the medications you're taking and may mean you'll need fewer drugs or lower dosages.
There are many types of medications to lower blood pressure available in the market. They lower your blood pressure in different ways. If one medication doesn't decrease your blood pressure to a safe level, your doctor may substitute another one or add one to your dosages.
To achieve a blood pressure goal, your doctor may recommend the use of multiple drugs. In fact, low-dose medications in combination can lower blood pressure as well as can larger doses of one drug. This strategy may reduce the number of doses you need a day, which can reduce side effects. Most people can control their blood pressure with long-acting drugs, so the medications need to be taken only once or twice daily. Your doctor may suggest you take aspirin once your blood pressure is under control in order to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disorders.