Questions about Blood Pressure Medications for Children
The vast majority of children with primary hypertension could take non-drug treatments such as weight control, increased physical activity and changes in eating habits to control the blood pressure. But if you have any of the following cases, you need to take antihypertensive drugs: constant headache, head dizzy and vertigo; kidney damage or diabetes; increased blood pressure for 6 months after lifestyle adjustment.
Some parents are afraid of side effects of medicine, so they do not feed children medicine, which will slowly damage the children’s blood vessels and lead to serious complications of the heart, kidneys and brain and other vital organs. If it develops into adult hypertension in the future, children need to rely on medicine for the whole life. The initial medication of children starts from the lowest measurement, and it increases gradually until it reaches the satisfactory blood pressure control.
Children should use a single medicine at the beginning. If they are unable to control at the highest measurement or have side effect, they could add the second different drugs. The pediatric antihypertensive drugs prefer to ACEI or ARB and CCB drugs, because such drugs have less frequent adverse reactions under the standard measurement. Diuretics are usually used as second-line anti-hypertensive drugs or in combination with other types of drugs, such as edema and severe kidney disease.
The long-term effect of antihypertensive drugs on growth and development of children is not clear now. But in common situation, the antihypertensive drugs for children have few adverse reactions and higher safety under the standard measurement. Especially for children who have severe high blood pressure, good control of blood pressure could protect the heart, brain and kidney and other vital organs, so the advantages of antihypertensive drugs outweigh the costs.
If blood pressure is well controlled, it does not require lifelong medication. Take medicine under the guidance of doctors; when you feel the situation improve, you could stop taking medicine for two to four weeks to observe the fluctuation of blood pressure and decide whether to continue taking medicine according to doctor’s advice. Parents are better not to judge it by themselves and they need to seek help from doctors.
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