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The paper will begin by providing an introduction of the problem of hypertension in America, followed by a discussion of the JNC 7 recommendations for the management of hypertension and a listing of the classes of antihypertensive medications along with examples of a drug from each class. The discussion will also highlight the mechanism of action and side effects of antihypertensive classes and alternative means of lowering blood pressure. Finally, the paper will create a case study of an individual at risk for hypertension or having hypertension; supplemented by the researcher's choice of antihypertensive agent that will best manage the case.

Hypertension is usually called the silent killer because it has no specific symptoms. Patients may have hypertension for many years without knowing it because there is no specific perceived sensory information associated with high Hypertension. The only way in which to determine whether a person has hypertension is by measuring Hypertension. Measurement of Hypertension is a quick and a reliable way in which to determine levels of risk for hypertension (American Medical Association, 2004). A screening measurement can be conducted in a hospital clinic, doctor's office, nurse's office, company clinic, or school or at a health fair. If screening suggests high Hypertension, a physician may ask for more detailed Hypertension measurement, including ambulatory monitoring over a 24-hour period. This more detailed assessment is important to have a reliable conclusion of Hypertension levels.


In a clinical setting, Hypertension is measured using an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. During this measurement, a rubber cuff is wrapped around the patient's upper arm. The cuff is then inflated, causing the cuff to compress a large artery in the arm, thereby stopping blood flow in the arm (Litin, 2002). The pressure is then reduced by releasing the air from the cuff. With the reduced cuff pressure, blood starts to pulse through the artery, making a sound, while the clinician listens with a stethoscope. This pulsing sound continues until the pressure in the artery is higher than the pressure in the cuff. The clinician records Hypertension using a gauge connected to the cuff. Two Hypertensions are recorded. The first is when the first sound is heard. This reflects the systolic Hypertension and indicates pressure related to the blood flow when the heart beats. The second is when the final sound is heard. This reflects the diastolic pressure and indicates the pressure between heartbeats. The unit for the assessment of Hypertension is millimeters of mercury.

Hypertension is treated pharmacologically by several categories of medications called anti-hypertension medications. Although details into the specific pharmacology of these categories of medications are beyond the scope of this chapter, familiarity with these classes and specific generic and brand names may be helpful for psychologists who work in primary medical care settings. Furthermore, information about side effects of these medications should enhance the expertise of behavioral therapists in their efforts to help other medical professionals and patients, drawing better outcomes from pharmacotherapy and increasing compliance (Tierney, 2005). To date, it remains unclear whether a restriction in ...
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