Managing High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you'll need to treat and control it for life. This means making lifestyle changes, taking prescribed medicines, and getting ongoing medical care.

Treatment can help control blood pressure, but it will not cure hypertension. If you stop treatment, your blood pressure and risk for related health problems will rise.

For a healthy future, follow your treatment plan closely. Work with your health care team for lifelong blood pressure control.

Lifestyle Changes

Making healthy lifestyle changes can help control HBP. A healthy lifestyle includes following a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking.

Taking Your Medication

Take all blood pressure medicines that your doctor prescribes. Know the names and doses of your medicines and how to take them. If you have questions about your medicines, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Make sure you refill your medicines before they run out. Take your medicines exactly as your doctor directs—don't skip days or cut pills in half.

If you're having side effects from your medicines, talk with your doctor. He or she may need to adjust the doses or prescribe other medicines. You shouldn't decide on your own to stop taking your medicines.

Ongoing Care for High Blood Pressure

If you have hypertension, have medical checkups or tests as your doctor advises. Your doctor may need to change or add medicines to your treatment plan over time. Routine checkups allow your doctor to change your treatment right away if your blood pressure goes up again.

Keeping track of your blood pressure is important. Have your blood pressure checked on the schedule your doctor advises.

You may want to learn how to check your blood pressure at home. Your doctor can help you learn how to do this. Each time you check your own blood pressure, you should write down your numbers and the date.

You also can write down the names and doses of your medicines and keep track of your lifestyle changes.

During checkups, you can ask your doctor or health care team any questions you have about your treatments.

High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy

Many pregnant women who have hypertension have healthy babies. However, hypertension can cause problems for both the mother and the fetus. Hypertension can harm the mother's kidneys and other organs. It also can cause the baby to be born early and with a low birth weight.

If you're thinking about having a baby and you have hypertension, talk with your health care team. You can take steps to control your blood pressure before and while you're pregnant.

Some women get hypertension for the first time while they're pregnant. In the most serious cases, the mother has a condition called preeclampsia.

This condition can threaten the lives of both the mother and the unborn child. You'll need special care to reduce your risk. With such care, most women and babies have good outcomes.

Reference: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Last updated May 3, 2017

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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