Managing High Blood Pressure Medications

When your health care professional prescribes blood pressure medication

Your health care professional may decide you need prescription medication in addition to lifestyle changes to control your high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Learn about the different types of high blood pressure medications and how they work.

Talk to your health care professional if you have concerns.

You might have fears or concerns about taking medication. Yet the long-term health threats of uncontrolled high blood pressure are often worse than any medication side effects. Talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other medical professional about your concerns. Everyone involved has the same priority — putting your health first.

Access to medications

If medication cost is an issue, tell your doctor, pharmacist or other health care team member. They may suggest a medication that costs less. Also ask about patient assistance programs. Many drug companies provide medications if you are having financial difficulties or are uninsured.

In rural areas where there aren't many pharmacies, getting medication can be difficult. Talk to your health care professional about getting medication through the mail. Also, ask if your local clinic can help you with your prescriptions. Some clinics have health vans that visit, too. And don't forget about telehealth, where you can talk to a health care professional online or over the phone. There are lots of options to try, so talk to your health care team to find the best one for you.

Getting started

Treating high blood pressure requires time, patience and care by both. The important thing is to talk with them and to follow their treatment plan.

  • Discuss medication choices and work together to control your blood pressure.
  • Take medications for high blood pressure exactly as prescribed for as long as needed.
  • You may need more than one prescription. Different drugs do different things in the body.
  • Tell all of your health care professionals about all the over-the-counter and prescription drugs you are taking. Some medications and supplements can interact with your high blood pressure medications.

Continuing your treatment

  • Be patient if it takes time to find the right dose for you. People can respond differently to medications. Many people need time to find out which medications work best for them with the fewest side effects. If you don’t feel well after taking a medication, tell your health care professional. They can adjust your treatment.
  • Go to all of your medical appointments.
  • If you’re working with more than one health care professional, make sure each knows what the other has prescribed. Using one pharmacy for all your prescriptions also helps avoid drug interactions.
  • Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You may have to take medication for the rest of your life.
  • Even if you’re feeling fine, NEVER cut back or quit taking your medication. Never stop taking prescribed medications without consulting your health care professional.
  • Track your treatment. Download a printable medication chart (PDF) and blood pressure tracker (PDF).
  • Learn about the lifestyle changes you can make to work with your medication.