Antihypertensive Drugs are a specific class of drugs which are used for the treatment of hypertension, i.e., high blood pressure. Hypertension is a prolonged and relentless escalation of blood pressure above the normal range. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic complications such as coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Overall human health is constantly being affected by several factors such as demographic aging, practicing irregular and unhealthy lifestyle, and faster urbanization. Hypertension is one of the most crucial health concerns which is occurring in both developing as well as developed countries. Therapies meant for antihypertensive looks forward in preventing health complications pertaining to high blood pressure, such as myocardial infarction. It is widely known as silent, hidden killer which seldom shows any kind of symptoms. Also it is one of the crucial risk factors for ischemic and coronary heart disease, and haemorrhagic stroke. Patients suffering with hypertension are recommended to take antihypertensive drugs for a prolonged period of time. Even though, the prescribed drug does not render fundamental cure, they prevent kidney failure, heart failure and acute stroke stimulated by hypertension and delay the progress of atherosclerosis by curbing the blood pressure. In a way, antihypertensive drugs are meant to be taken for life. There are several classifications of antihypertensive drugs, which help in lowering the blood pressure by various means. Thiazide diuretics, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs), beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers are a few of the most important and broadly used drugs.
Categorization of antihypertensive drugs is generally classified into three main categories:
Diuretics – they are meant to lower the blood pressure by increasing urination. E.g., indapamide and hydrochlorthiazide.
Vasodilators – they are known to dilate the blood vessels in order to lower the blood pressure. E.g., nifedipine.
Other drugs – they control the pressure of the blood by regulating the bodily functions which controls the blood pressure. E.g., propranolol, metoprolol, captopril, and methyldopa.
Many a time, hypertension also results in other health problems such as visual impairment, heart failure, renal impairment and retinal haemorrhage. A study on antihypertensive drugs sales market stated that according to World Health Organization (WHO), 7.5 million fatalities around the world are caused due to hypertension, and it is responsible for 12.8% of the total number of deaths. Proofs and indications suggest that reduction in blood pressure by 5 mmHg can lessen the risk of stroke by 34% and ischemic heart disease by 21%.