High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the common phrase for a condition called hypertension. It commonly has no physical symptoms, but it can pose a serious risk to your health if not diagnosed and controlled, commonly leading to serious conditions like a heart attack or a stroke. Lifestyle changes and various medication can help to lower your blood pressure. You can order blood pressure medication online from Medicine Direct; with free next day delivery, you can begin treatment almost immediately.

High Blood Pressure

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  1. Buy Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg/5mg tablets for high blood pressure from Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
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    • Prescribed to treat High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
    • Thiazide Diuretics, more commonly known as "water pills"
    • Treats the build up of fluid within blood vessels, effectively lowering blood pressure
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    • Highly effective in treating high blood pressure
    • Relaxes the blood vessels and allows blood to flow through more freely
    • Can lower the risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or developing heart disease
  3. Buy Lercanidipine 10/20mg High Blood Pressure Tablets from Medicine Direct Online Pharmacy
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    • Used to treat High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
    • Works by widening blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely
    • Also helps to prevent more serious risks associated with hypertension such as Heart Attacks
  4. Buy Losartan High Blood Pressure Tablets from Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
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    • Most commonly used to treat High Blood Pressure
    • Allows blood to flow through the blood vessels more freely by relaxing them
    • Helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and heart failure
  5. Buy Lisinopril High Blood Pressure Tablets from Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy
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    • Belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
    • Typically prescribed to treat High Blood Pressure 
    • Can also help prevent future heart attacks and strokes
  6. Buy Bisoprolol Beta Blockers for the treatment of High Blood Pressure from Medicine Direct UK Online Pharmacy.
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    • Beta Blocker commonly prescribed to treat High Blood Pressure
    • Works by protecting the heart against too much activity
    • Makes your heart more efficient at pumping blood around your body

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that affects a huge number of people throughout the UK. In order for blood to move effectively around your body, a certain amount of pressure is needed to keep it flowing in a healthy way. However, if this pressure becomes too high over a period of time, it will narrow your blood vessels and put a strain on your heart.

This is known as high blood pressure, or hypertension. It is believed that one in four adults in the UK have hypertension, but because the symptoms are hard to see, many do not realise they have it. Reasons for hypertension vary, but things like age and unhealthy lifestyle choices play a big part.

Is high blood pressure dangerous?

If left untreated, hypertension can lead to a number of other medical conditions and can increase the risk of developing the following health conditions.

  • If you already suffer from angina, having a high blood pressure can make your symptoms much worse
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease

If you are prescribed high blood pressure medication, this can also lead to other risks and complications due to the side effects that certain medications have on the body. For example, most high blood pressure medications increase the uric acid levels in the body; this can then lead to gout which is caused by increased uric acid levels. Many individuals that take hypertension medication have an increased risk of developing gout.

Can high blood pressure be fatal?

High blood pressure can lead to a fatal stroke or heart attack.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Warning Signs

How do you feel when you have high blood pressure?

In most cases, high blood pressure does not present any obvious physical symptoms. However, in severe cases, when your blood pressure is excessively high, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Nose bleeds
  • A headache that does not go away
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms are rare, but if you do experience any of them, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Having any of these symptoms would be classed as a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment.

What causes High Blood Pressure?

There can be several causes of high blood pressure, including:

  • Age (the risk of hypertension increases as you get older)
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Being of Caribbean or African origin
  • Being overweight
  • Unhealthy lifestyle and diet habits, including a high salt and/or alcohol intake, smoking, a lack of exercise and not sleeping enough

High cholesterol levels - too much cholesterol causes the arteries to become harder and narrow. As a result the heart is forced to work harder when trying to pass blood through the blood vessels to the rest of the body and causes blood pressure to also increase to a high level.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

High blood pressure does not normally come with any physical symptoms, so the only way to be certain is to have a blood pressure test.

Healthy adults over 40 years old should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years, but if you are at an increased risk of hypertension, you should get it checked once a year.

How can I measure my blood pressure at home?

You can visit your doctor for a blood pressure test, or you can test yourself at home with a blood pressure kit. If you are concerned that you do have high blood pressure, fill out a Medicine Direct health questionnaire here. This will be passed to one of our doctors, who will assess your symptoms and prescribe the right course of treatment for you.

What counts as normal and high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

A high blood pressure reading in an otherwise healthy person could be anything above 140/90mmHg. Ideally, a normal blood pressure reading should be somewhere between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

Below this level would be classed as low blood pressure, which is a different medical condition.

I have had a high reading – does this mean I have hypertension?

If your reading is as high or higher than those stated above, the likelihood is that you do have high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure Treatment

Medicine Direct offers a variety of different high blood pressure treatments. These include ACE inhibitors, ARBS (Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers), beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics. Each works differently but all have the same aim; to reduce your blood pressure to a healthy and stable level.

Lercanidipine and Amlodipine are two of the most widely prescribed high blood pressure medications in the UK. They work by relaxing and widening your blood vessels, meaning that the heart can pump blood around the body more freely. Medicine Direct offers Lercanidipine in packs of 28 tablets at a dosage of 10mg. Amlodipine is available in packs of 84 or 186 tablets, in a dosage of either 10mg or 5mg.

The type of medication and dosage you will be prescribed will depend on your own specific circumstances.

How can I lower my blood pressure quickly?

There is no quick fix for high blood pressure, but certain lifestyle changes can help to reduce it. In some cases, treatment may also require medication like ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers to reduce hypertension.

Lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure

You may find that basic lifestyle changes are all you need to reduce high blood pressure.

These lifestyle changes can include:

  • Reducing salt intake
  • Reducing fatty food intake and eating a more balanced and healthy diet
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Increasing exercising and being more active
  • Increasing sleep and getting at least six hours per night.
  • Losing weight
  • Stopping smoking

However, you may find you need medication to help widen your blood vessels and support your heart. If this is the case, you will need to speak to a doctor about which type of high blood pressure tablets will suit you best.

What is the main cause of high blood pressure?

In 90% of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown. In the other 10% of cases, it is normally caused by an underlying condition or cause. This can include:

Does stress/anxiety cause high blood pressure?

There is no evidence to prove that stress itself causes high blood pressure, but anxiety and stress can cause a dramatic spike in your blood pressure. However, this spike is only temporary.

Is stress-related high blood pressure dangerous?

A reaction to stress can affect blood pressure, but there is no evidence that stress causes long-term high blood pressure. However, excessive stress can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Does high blood pressure increase your risk of stroke?

Yes, if you have high blood pressure, you are at a greater risk of having a stroke.

What is systolic and diastolic blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings are displayed in two numbers, which are laid out like a fraction. The top number is the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscles, which is known as systolic pressure. The bottom number is your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats, which is known as diastolic pressure. Both of these numbers play a part in determining the state of your heart.

What does my blood pressure reading mean?

When you have a blood pressure reading by your doctor, it is expressed as a measurement that has two numbers; one on top (systolic) and one on the bottom (diastolic). Ideally, a person's blood pressure should be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

I have ‘white coat syndrome’ how should I reliably check my blood pressure?

White coat syndrome' is when you are feeling nervous or stressed about visiting your doctor, which can lead to raised blood pressure. If you have this problem and a high reading is taken, you will probably be given a home testing kit, which means you can take a reading in a relaxed environment.

In other cases, you may be provided with a 24-hour heart rate monitor, which will check your blood pressure throughout the day to ascertain if your blood pressure is high throughout the day, or if it is just the result of anxiety or stress.

Can I lower my blood pressure by changing my lifestyle?

The following lifestyle changes can help to reduce your blood pressure, which also lowers your chance of heart disease, strokes or heart attacks:

  • Reducing salt intake
  • Reducing fatty food intake and eating a more balanced and healthy diet
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Taking regular exercise and being more active
  • Increasing sleep and getting at least six hours per night.
  • Losing weight
  • Stopping smoking

What medication is used to treat high blood pressure?

Medical treatment for hypertension comes in different forms. The four most common treatment methods are:

  • ACE inhibitors, which work to relax the blood vessels, making them widen and reduce your blood pressure
  • Calcium channel blockers, which prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the blood vessels and heart. This widens your arteries and allows blood to flow more easily, with less pressure.
  • Beta-blockers such as Bisoprolol, which reduce the speed and force of your heartbeat, reducing the blood pressure. They are less effective than ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers, so they are normally used alongside other medicines rather than being the only form of treatment.

Diuretics (water pills), which are a common form of treatment for hypertension. They work by flushing excess water and salt from the body through your urine; by reducing the fluid, the blood pressure is lowered.

What are ACE inhibitors?

ACE inhibitors are medications which relax your blood vessels, making them wider. This helps to reduce your blood pressure by allowing the blood to flow around the body more freely. They also reduce the amount of water in your blood and are most effective when used by people under the age of 55. Common side effects may include dizziness, fatigue, a persistent dry cough or headaches.

What is an ARB?

ARB stands for angiotensin receptor blocker, which is a medicine to block the actions of angiotensin II, thus lowering blood pressure. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which makes them widen, allowing the blood to flow around your body much more easily. They also reduce the amount of water in the body, which further reduces pressure. Side effects of ARBs include dizziness, cold and flu-like symptoms and headaches. These side effects do not bother everyone and are usually very mild.

What are Thiazide diuretics?

Diuretics such as Bendroflumethiazide are often referred to as 'water pills', because they are designed to reduce the amount of water in the blood; this widens the arteries. They are a useful alternative if you cannot take calcium channel blockers, but they should not be used by women who are pregnant or anyone who is suffering from gout.

Thiazide diuretics can raise the potassium and sugar levels in the blood as side effects, so regular blood and urine tests will be needed if you are using this course of treatment. Diuretics have sometimes been known to cause impotence, too.

What are calcium channel blockers?

Calcium channel blockers widen your arteries, relieving pressure and allowing blood to flow. They also stop calcium from entering the muscle cells of the blood vessels and heart. They are most effective in black people and people who are aged 55 and over. They are not suitable for anyone who has a history of heart or liver disease, or poor circulation. Side effects of calcium channel blockers include dizziness, swollen ankles, fatigue, headaches and skin rashes.

Do I need to see a doctor before I can get high blood pressure treatments?

High blood pressure can only be diagnosed if it is measured. This will normally be done by your doctor after a consultation. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, a doctor will then be able to recommend the best treatment for your specific condition. They will normally monitor your blood pressure and make sure your readings are consistently higher than average. This will help them to prescribe the best course of treatment for your needs.

What is the most common age group to suffer from high blood pressure?

Most people who have hypertension are over 65 years old, although there are currently around five-million people in the UK alone who are unaware they have it. You must visit your doctor to be tested to know for sure.

Adults should have their blood pressure checked every five years, but if your chances of suffering from hypertension are high, you should be tested once a year. You are more likely to develop this condition with age.

The cause of hypertension is unknown in 90% of cases, but you may be more at risk if:

  • You smoke
  • You have a high-salt diet
  • You do not exercise on a regular basis
  • You are overweight
  • You drink alcohol or caffeine excessively
  • You are of African or Caribbean descent
  • You are over the age of 65
  • You have a blood relative who has hypertension

You do not eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables

High blood pressure and pregnancy

Between around 10-15% of all pregnancies are affected by hypertension. This can be either:

  • Chronic hypertension, where the mother already had high blood pressure before pregnancy
  • Gestational hypertension, where it is related to the pregnancy

The cause of the hypertension will dictate the type of treatment you will get. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level is important to a healthy pregnancy, so you should attend check-ups regularly with your antenatal team.

Doctor Notes

Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.

This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.

We are fully regulated

All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.

Sonia Khan Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


Pharmacist

This content has been written by James Nuttall and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan. Sonia is our local on-site pharmacist responsible for dispensing a wide range of treatments to our patients on a daily basis.

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