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'd like to talk to the viewers about. We've talked about diuretics being prescribed...
Robert Kowalski: Exactly. They should understand the drugs, whatever they drug is the doctor prescribes, they should understand how it works. Talk with your pharmacist, read the insert that comes along with the drug when you pick up your 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. It, your heart rate, the, the resting beats of the heart, much, much lower. And 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. This is particularly a problem with elderly individuals, who find that they might actually stumble and fall. And when this happens in the middle of the night, if they're combining an 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's a loss of energy. You just feel more fatigued, you just don't have the pep and vitality that you used to. And again, this drug, like the diuretics has a significant ill effect on sexual activity. I wouldn't say, I almost said sexual performance. It's not that, you just don't want to anymore, and you can't.
Morgan: So you just lose your libido?
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 it's the term that's 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 counterbalance 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 (coughs) kind of thing, I mean a hacking cough that persists throughout the entire day. And it can certainly interfere with business as you're talk on the phone. It just becomes truly more than just a nuisance.
The next one is a brand new drug called a renin inhibitor. Renin is the substance that's made in the kidney that controls blood pressure. This one actually inhibits the production of renin. Unfortunately it has those same ill effects as the ACE inhibitor does in terms of potential for the cough.
Morgan: For the coughing. So that's two of them that cause the coughing.
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. Both in the United States and in Canada. Not only their generic name, in this case, nifedipine. Nifedipine is something that works very similarly to one of the supplements that I recommend in the book. One of my secret weapons as an alternative to a drug. The nifedipine has two different trade names, Procardia and Adalat. So if you know that you're taking Adalat, you have no clue what it is, you can go to this chapter, find out where that drug is, it's all listed in the index. Go straight to the drug, find out exactly how it works, what it's doing in the body and the side effects and see where you go from there.
Morgan: So you really have this spelled out for people.
Kowalski: Oh, completely so. As you'll see here. And we needn't go into extreme detail. There are for example, also alpha blockers as compared to the beta blockers, they work in a slightly different way. Similarly, an explanation of how they work, a listing of the drugs that are currently on the market in that category. The combination drugs which are becoming more and more frequently used so that people can take one pill rather than two. Because, when you, as I said... combination therapies. The reality is that in most cases of hypertension, one drug isn't going to do the trick. Because a typical anti-hypertensive drug will give you, on average, 10 points of reduction. Now, if you've been paying attention, which I know you have been Raena, you'll remember that the various kinds of agents that I recommend as alternatives, the dietary supplements from natural kinds of sources have that same kind of an approach. That they work in a very similar kind of method, thereby giving about a ten point drop, which is an equivalent of one of those prescription drugs. Now, just as a doctor might prescribe two, three or even four of the prescription drugs in order to come down to what they call the target level of normalcy in blood pressure, you can combine one, two, three, four, five, whatever number of these approaches in the book, tailored to your own specific needs to bring your pressure down to a point where you have totally reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Morgan: Well, thank you very much, Bob for that information. I know it will be very critically important to a lot of people.
Kowalski: Thank you.
Robert Kowalski discusses prescription drugs, particularly blood pressure medications. He talks about how the different blood pressure drugs work and what many of the common side effects are. A must watch if you or someone you know is on on these drugs!
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