What is High blood pressure and hypertension?

High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, is a condition in which the blood force in your blood vessels (arteries) is higher. It eventually causes health problems, mainly cardiac disorders.

Blood pressure is measured in two numbers. The upper number or systolic blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. On the other hand, the lower number or diastolic pressure is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries in between the beats. 

What is the average healthy blood pressure?

The average blood pressure value is 120/80 mm/Hg. High blood pressure would be defined as any value above 140/90 mm/Hg. You could suffer from high blood pressure without any symptoms. Uncontrolled hypertension puts you at serious risk of health problems. 

If you have high blood pressure, Amlodipine and Clonidine are one of the most common medicines prescribed in Canada. This article will discuss how these medicines can help and their similarities and differences.

What causes high blood pressure?

In most cases, there is no real cause of hypertension. However, in some cases, high blood pressure is caused by an underlying condition. Various conditions and medications can cause high blood pressure, such as: 

  • Thyroid problems 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Illegal drugs (Cocaine or amphetamines) 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Adrenal gland tumors 
  • Defects with the blood vessels 
  • Medications such as nasal decongestants, pain killers, cold remedies, or birth control pills 
  • Genetics 
  • Tobacco 
  • Too much salt consumption 
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy 
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How does medication help with high blood pressure?

Usually, two or more medications work better than a single drug. These medicines work differently to lower your blood pressure.

For instance, some medications help in salt and water elimination from the body, while others relax blood vessels. Some of them help reduce the workload on the heart, while others reduce the amount of blood pumped through the blood vessels. Each class of medications acts differently, but they produce the same overall effect (reduce the blood pressure). 

Amlodipine and Clonidine for treating high blood pressure? 

Amlodipine belongs to the calcium channel blockers class of medications. It lowers the blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, which reduces the pumping pressure on the heart. It also helps treat certain types of angina (chest pain) and coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Amlodipine may be used alone or in combination with other medications. Amlodipine can be used to treat adults and children six years and above. 

Clonidine belongs to alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. It lowers your blood pressure by decreasing the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. Clonidine can be used alone or in combination with other medications. 

Comparing Amlodipine and Clonidine similarities and differences

Similarities between Amlodipine and Clonidine 

Amlodipine and Clonidine are both used in the treatment of high blood pressure. Both the medications are available in tablet form (Amlodipine is also available in liquid dosage form). Both the drugs are indicated to treat high blood pressure and can be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive drugs. 

In case if you are using either of the medication and are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your doctor immediately. 

Clonidine and Amlodipine both do not cure high blood pressure. They help to reduce blood pressure. 

Differences between Amlodipine and Clonidine

  • How to take: Clonidine is usually taken twice a day and is available as an extended-release tablet. On the other hand, Amlodipine is to be taken once daily. It would help if you took Amlodipine at the same time every day. 
  • Benefits: Amlodipine is used to treat a certain type of angina and coronary heart disease. On the other hand, Clonidine is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea (severely painful cramps during menstruation), Menopausal hot flushes, Tourette’s syndrome (a condition that is characterized by the need to perform repetitive motions or repeat sounds or words), Opiate and alcohol withdrawal, smoking cessation therapy, attention deficit disorder (a disorder in which people find more difficulty in focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet as compared to other people of the same age). 
  • Action: Amlodipine relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. On the other hand, Clonidine decreases heart rate, relaxes blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure. 
  • Contraindications: Clonidine may cause drowsiness, and consuming alcohol is not safe as the side effects of Clonidine may get worse. In contrast, Amlodipine will not cause drowsiness. Older adults can use Amlodipine. On the contrary, Clonidine should not be used in the older population as the medicine is not safe as other medications. 
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Which one is right for you, Amlodipine or Clonidine? Is any of them best in your case?

Depending upon various factors such as your blood pressure, overall health, age, and other health problems, your physician will describe the correct medication for you. 

Usually, when you are suffering from high blood pressure, a combination of different antihypertensive drugs is prescribed to get the best results of the therapy. 

Prescription, use, and dosage

Amlodipine and Clonidine both are prescription medications. The treatment with both drugs is initiated at a low dose. Your physician will gradually increase the dose. 

Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully and ask your physician or pharmacist to explain in case of any queries. Amlodipine is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg doses. On the other hand, Clonidine is available in 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg, and 0.3 mg doses. Your physician will select the correct dose for you. 

Amlodipine and Clonidine are both used as antihypertensive medications. They lower the blood pressure; however, it does not cure it. 

What else are Amlodipine and Clonidine used for

Amlodipine is used in the treatment of certain types of angina and coronary heart disease. Clonidine is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea (severely painful cramps during menstruation), Menopausal hot flushes, Tourette’s syndrome (a condition that is characterized by the need to perform repetitive motions or repeat sounds or words), Opiate and alcohol withdrawal, smoking cessation therapy, attention deficit disorder (a disorder in which people find more difficulty in focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet as compared to other people of the same age). 

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