Diastolic blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls when the heart is at rest, MedlinePlus says. High diastolic blood pressure almost always accompanies a high systolic pressure and is indicative of pre-hypertension or hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. Nearly one-third of adults in the United States has high blood pressure, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA.
Physicians usually prescribe a several types of medicine depending on the stage of hypertension, which can cause serious health complications including stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. Since hypertension normally does not exhibit symptoms, individuals should have yearly medical physicals to monitor both diastolic and systolic blood pressure rates.
There are three types of diuretics, or water pills, that help to lower diastolic blood pressure. However, the first choice among doctors is a thiazide diuretic due the lower instances of side effects while offering a strong protection against high blood pressure conditions such as stroke and heart failure, according to MayoClinic.com. Diuretics work by reducing the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, Drugs.com says. They usually come in the form of tablets, but may also be given as an oral suspension, injection or oral solution, according to Drugs.com. Hypertensive people with a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mmgHg usually begin treatment on a thiazide diuretic alone. Common medications in the United States include Aquatensen, Esidrix, Metahydrin and Renese.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
For individuals with stage 1 hypertension and those with stage 2 hypertension--with a diastolic reading of 100 mmHg or higher--will often require additional medication to work in tandem with a diuretic. ACE, or angiotensin-converting enzyme, inhibitors helps to relax blood vessels by blocking the hormone that causes vessel narrowing, according to MayoClinic.com. Lisinopril, for example, is an ACE that not only treats high blood pressure but also acts to prevent as well as treat congestive heart failure while improving the survival rate of individuals who recently suffered a heart attack, according to Drugs.com. Individuals with diabetes and hypertension usually require an ACE inhibitor with a diuretic, according to MayoClinic.com.
Doctors may prescribe beta-blockers in conjunction with diuretics to successfully lower diastolic blood pressure. Beta-blockers work by reducing the nerve signals to both the heart and blood vessels, according to MayoClinic.com. They block the hormone epinephrine, commonly known as adrenaline, and ensures that the heart beats more slowly and with less force to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, they improve the flow of blood by opening up the blood vessels. Individuals with chest pain, or angina, usually require the addition of a beta-blocker to a diuretic treatment.
Is This an Emergency?
- U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration: Medications for High Blood Pressure
- Hypertension Blood Pressure Center.com: High Diastolic Blood Pressure - Isolated Diastolic Hypertension
- JAMA Internal Medicine: On-Treatment Diastolic Blood Pressure and Prognosis in Systolic Hypertension
- American Heart Association: Prevention & Treatment of High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts: Hypertension