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Kidney Disease
                                                                          — A Guide for Patients

               BLOOD PRESSURE
          It is very important to control
          blood pressure - aiming to
          keep blood pressure as close to
          normal as possible. There are
          many approaches to control
          blood     pressure,    including
          weight loss, salt avoidance,
          exercise and reduction in alcohol
          intake. Many patients will,
          however, also need to take blood
          pressure tablets. There are many different classes of blood pressure tablets including:

            ● Betablockers                                        ● Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)
            ● Calcium channel blockers                            ● Alpha blockers
            ● Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE)

                                BETABLOCKERS                                  CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS
                      (e.g. Atenolol, Metoprolol, Bisoprolol)                        (e.g. Istin, Dilzem)
        Betablockers are amongst the most commonly prescribed blood          Calcium channel blockers work by
        pressure medications. Examples include Atenolol and Metoprolol.      directly making blood vessels
        These tablets are used to treat cardiac conditions in addition to    relax by blocking calcium going
        high blood pressure. Betablockers work by blocking the effect of     into muscles around the blood
        adrenaline on blood vessels and the heart. Consequently, they will   vessels. The commonest side-
        slow the heart a little. People with severe asthma need to be        effect of these medications is
        careful with these medications as they may make asthma worse         swelling of the legs. They may
        and they may also, occasionally, make your hands feel cold.          also, occasionally, cause redness
        Occasionally, betablockers may give you nightmares.                 of the skin.

                                                  ALPHA BLOCKERS
            Alpha blockers work by blocking the function of adrenaline on blood vessels. Occasionally these
            medications may cause you to become dizzy when you stand up.

                                   AND ANGIOTENSIN RECEPTOR BLOCKERS (ARB)
        One of the important hormones in the body that controls blood pressure in the body is called angiotensin.
        ACE inhibitors work by blocking the production of this hormone and ARB work by stopping the effect of
        angiotensin. These drugs are used to treat blood pressure and heart failure. They are also effective at
        slowing the decline in kidney function. ACE inhibitors may sometimes cause a persistent cough which
        resolves when the ACE is stopped. These medications may also cause the potassium levels to rise too
        high. Your bloods will be carefully monitored for this.

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