This health video will show you how to understand your prescription blood pressure drugs.
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Raena Morgan: Hi, I'm Raena Morgan with iHealthTube visiting with Robert Kowalski, the author of 'The Blood Pressure Cure.' And we're talking about the different prescription drugs that are prescribed for hypertension, and this chapter says, Understanding Prescription Drugs, and that's what we would like to talk to the viewers about. We've talked about diuretics being prescribed- Robert Kowalski: They should understand the drugs. Whatever the drug is that a doctor prescribes; you should understand how it works. Talk with your pharmacist; read the insert that comes along with the drug when you pick up the prescription, and in the case of hypertension, you can learn extensively about all the classes of drugs. Last time we visited, we talked about the diuretics, how they work and what their side effects might be. The next category of drug frequently prescribed is the beta blocker. This is almost always prescribed after an individual has had a heart attack, because what it does is to slow heart rate. Your heart rate is the resting beats of the heart, much much lower. By doing this, it in effect gives your heart a rest as it's recovering from that heart attack, and it has a blood pressure lowering effect at the same time. Now, the side effects that are involved with it are dizziness. If you were sitting as we are right now, and the phone rang, and you suddenly bolted upright to grab the phone, you could get dizzy- Raena Morgan: Real woozy. Robert Kowalski: This is particularly a problem with elderly individuals who find that they might actually stumble and fall. Raena Morgan: Alright. Robert Kowalski: And when this happens in the middle of the night, if they're combining a diuretic drug that makes you urinate more frequently, with the age where you urinate more frequently in the middle of the night, you get up a few times, now you get up out of bed and you're dizzy, some people have fallen and even injured themselves. The next thing that happens is, because the heart is beating at this reduced rate, there is a loss of energy. You just feel more fatigued; you just don't have the pep and vitality that you used to. Again, this drug like the diuretics, has a significant ill effect on sexual activity. Raena Morgan: Alright. Robert Kowalski: I wouldn't say; I almost said sexual performance, it's not that, you just don't want to anymore, and you can't. Raena Morgan: So you just lose your libido. Robert Kowalski: You lose your libido, exactly. The next one is a very important category that wasn't around when my dad had his heart attack. It's called the ace inhibitors, it doesn't matter what that stands for, but that's the term commonly used by the physicians. An ace inhibitor works at the kidney level. The kidney largely controls blood pressure and the ace inhibitor works to counter balance the ill effects that are going on with hypertensive patients in the kidney, by blocking this enzyme that the ace stands for. This one has a real problem in terms of producing for many, many patients a chronic cough. Not a once in a while, kind of thing. I mean a hacking cough that persists throughout the entire day, and it can certainly interfere with business as you're trying to talk on the phone. It just becomes truly more than just a nuisance. The next one is a brand new drug called a rennin inhibitor. Rennin is the substance that's made in the kidney that controls blood pressure. This one actually inhibits the production of rennin. Unfortunately it has those same ill effects as the ace inhibitor does in terms of potential for the cough. Raena Morgan: For the coughing. So that's two of them that cause the coughing. Robert Kowalski: The cough. Then we have what's referred to as the calcium channel blockers. It's important to note that what I've done in the book is to literally spell out every single prescription drug used for blood pressure that's on the market here in America. Raena Morgan: Okay. Robert Kowalski: Both in the United Sta