Not everyone with high blood pressure needs to take medicine. Only you and your doctor can determine if medicine is right for you. In general, your doctor makes the decision based on the following factors:

  • how high your blood pressure is
  • whether you have damage to your blood vessels, eyes, or kidneys
  • whether you have coronary heart disease, diabetes, or other risk factors for heart disease

If your doctor prescribes medicine to lower your blood pressure, it's important that you understand what it does and how to take it safely. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about your medicines. The only silly questions are ones that go unasked. Also, tell the doctor about any concerns you may have about your medicines.

Take the time to write down any questions you may have about taking medicine before your appointment. Then take the list with you and write down your healthcare provider's answers. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is any written information about the medicine that you can take home with you.