Some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular
medications are summarized in this section. For your information and
reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names
to help you identify what you may be taking; however, the AHA is not
recommending or endorsing any specific products. If your prescription
medication isn't on this list, remember that your healthcare provider
and pharmacist are your best sources of information. It's important to
discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their
desired effects and possible side effects. Never stop taking a
medication and never change your dose or frequency without first
consulting your doctor.
The classes of blood pressure medications include:
help the body get rid of excess sodium (salt) and water and help
control blood pressure. They are often used in combination with
additional prescription therapies.
Common brand names
Esidrix*, Hydrodiuril*, Microzide*
amiloride hydrochloride + hydrochlorothiazide
spironolactone + hydrochlorothiazide
triamterene + hydrochlorothiazide
Some noted possible side effects from diuretics:
of these drugs may decrease your body's supply of the mineral
potassium. Symptoms such as weakness, leg cramps or being tired may
result. Eating foods containing potassium may help prevent significant
potassium loss. If your doctor recommends it, you could prevent
potassium loss by taking a liquid or tablet that has potassium along
with the diuretic. Diuretics such as amiloride (Midamar)*,
spironolactone (Aldactone)* or triamterene (Dyrenium)* are called
"potassium sparing" agents. They don't cause the body to lose potassium.
They might be prescribed alone, but are usually used with another
diuretic. Some of these combinations are Aldactazide*, Dyazide*,
Maxzide* or Moduretic*.
Some people suffer from attacks of gout
after prolonged treatment with diuretics. This side effect isn't common
and can be managed by other treatment.
People with diabetes may
find that diuretic drugs increase their blood sugar level. A change in
medication, diet, insulin or oral anti-diabetic dosage corrects this in
most cases. Most of the time the degree of increase in blood sugar isn't
much. Your doctor may change your treatment.
Impotence may also occur in a small percentage of people.