• Control Your Blood Pressure


    Painless Precaution

    High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is linked to an increased risk of P.A.D. – as well as heart attackstroke, kidney disease and eye problems. By taking steps to lower and control your blood pressure, you can delay or prevent P.A.D. and a range of other health problems.

    If you have high blood pressure, your blood moves through the arteries with too much force against the inside artery walls. The result can be damage to the walls of the arteries and to the heart, which must work harder to pump blood through the vessels.

    Blood Pressure is Recorded With Two Numbers

    • Systolic (sis-TOL-ic) pressure, the first number, measures the pressure as your heart beats and pushes blood through the vessels. A reading of 120 is normal; readings over 140 (over 135 if you have diabetes) are considered high. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg)).
    • Diastolic (DI-a-STOL-ic), the second number, measures the pressure between heart beats. A diastolic reading below 80 is normal; above 90 indicates high blood pressure (above 85 if you have diabetes).

    The goal for most people with P.A.D. is to maintain blood pressure of less than 140/90 mmHG. Those who have P.A.D. and diabetes may be advised to achieve a reading of 130/80 mmHG to reduce their higher risk of heart, eye and kidney disease.

    Managing High Blood Pressure

    Once high blood pressure occurs, it typically does not go away. However, it can be controlled and normalized by following a healthy lifestyle and/or medications. Take these steps, recommended by the National Institutes of Health, to control your blood pressure.

    • Lose extra pounds and keep them off.
    • Choose foods that are heart healthy.
    • Quit smoking.
    • Limit your daily salt intake to about 1 teaspoon.
    • Be physically active – work up to 30 minutes of brisk walking three to five times a week.
    • Limit alcohol: Men should have no more than two servings a day; women should have no more than one serving.
    • Take the blood pressure medications your doctor prescribes. Discuss any side effects with your doctor.

    Seek answers to your blood pressure questions and support for any problems managing your blood pressure from your doctor or health care team.

    Medications To Control Your Blood Pressure

    Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications to help control your blood pressure. See the table below to learn more about these medications.

    Blood Pressure Medications

    Your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of drugs to lower your blood pressure. There are many blood-pressure medications. The following list includes only those that are most commonly prescribed.


    Generic name (Brand name)

    Action to lower blood pressure


    • Amiloride (Midamor)
    • Bumetanide (Bumex)
    • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
    • Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
    • Furosemide (Lasix)
    • Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, Hydrodiuril)
    • Indapamide (Lozol)
    • Spironolactone (Aldactone)

    Cause the body to rid itself of excess fluids and sodium through urination.

    ACE Inhibitors 
    (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors)

    • Benazepril (Lotensin)
    • Captopril (Capoten)
    • Enalapril (Vasotec)
    • Fosinopril (Monopril)
    • Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
    • Moexipril (Univasc)
    • Perindopril (Aceon)
    • Quinapril (Accupril)
    • Ramipril (Altace)
    • Trandolapril (Mavik)

    Block a key enzyme responsible for high blood pressure, thereby reducing the heart’s workload.


    Angiotensin-2 Receptor Antagonists

    • Candesartan (Atacand)
    • Eprosartan (Teveten)
    • Irbesartan (Avapro)
    • Losartan (Cozaar)
    • Telmisartan (Micardis)
    • Valsartan (Diovan)

    Produce effects similar to those of ACE Inhibitors. May be better tolerated: Produces less cough and other reactions.


    Beta Blockers

    • Acebutolol (Sectral)
    • Atenolol (Tenormin)
    • Betaxolol (Kerlone)
    • Bisoprolol/hydrochlorothiazide (Ziac)
    • Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
    • Carteolol (Cartrol)
    • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
    • Nadolol (Corgard)
    • Propranolol (Inderal)
    • Sotalol (Betapace)
    • Timolol (Blocadren)

    Decrease the heart rate and force of blood pumped from the heart to lower blood pressure. Also used with therapy for cardiac arrhythmias and in treating chest pain.

    Calcium Channel Blockers 
    (Also called Calcium Antagonists or Calcium Blockers)

    • Nisoldipine (Sular)
    • Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
    • Nicardipine (Cardene), 
    • Bepridil (Vascor)
    • Isradipine (Dynacirc) Nimodipine (Nimotop)
    • Felodipine (Plendil)
    • Amlodipine (Norvasc)
    • Diltiazem (Cardizem) 
    • Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin)

    Block calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and arteries. (Calcium in the cells causes the heart to contract and arteries to narrow.) By blocking calcium, contraction of the heart is decreased and arteries are widened.

    Central Alpha Agonis

    • Clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres)
    • Clonidine hydrochloride and chlorthalidone (Clorpres, Combipres)
    • Guanabenz Acetate (Wytensin)
    • Guanfacine hydrochloride (Tenex)
    • Methyldopa (Aldomet)
    • Methyldopa and chlorothiazide (Aldochlor)
    • Methyldopa and hydrochlorothiazide (Aldoril)

    Lower blood pressure by blocking nerve impulses that cause small arteries to constrict or become narrow, thus easing blood flow. Usually prescribed when all other blood pressure medications have failed.

    Peripherally Acting Alpha Agonist

    • Prazosin (Minipress,Vasoflex, Hypovase)
    • Indoramin (Baratol)
    • Doxazosin (Cardura and Carduran)

    Lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.