Test Your Blood Pressure Medication IQ

How much do you know about taking your blood pressure medications? Take this test and find out!

  1. If I make the necessary lifestyle changes, I won't need medication for my high blood pressure. True or False


  2. I only need to take my medication if I don't feel well. True or False


  3. There are many drugs available to lower high blood pressure. True or False


  4. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood for the body's needs. True or False


  5. Treatment for older people with high blood pressure is just as important as it is for younger adults. True or False


  6. If you are starting a new medication plan, you should talk with your doctor about why he or she is recommending it. True or False


  7. If you've been taking your high blood pressure medication, you can assume that your blood pressure is in control. True or False

Answers to the Medication IQ Quiz

1. If I make the necessary lifestyle changes, I won't need medication for my high blood pressure. False

Changing lifestyle habits may not lower your blood pressure enough. If it doesn't, you will need to take medication. However, even if you do need medication, you still should maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, follow a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods, choose and prepare foods with less salt and sodium, and if you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Doing so will help your medication work better and may reduce how much of it you need.

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2. I only need to take my medication if I don't feel well. False

If your doctor prescribes high blood pressure medication for you, you must take it according to the prescription, usually every day, no matter how you feel.

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3. There are many drugs available to lower high blood pressure. True

High blood pressure medications work in various ways. Often, two or more drugs work better than one.

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4. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood for the body's needs. True

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for heart failure, also called congestive heart failure. To prevent heart failure, high blood pressure must be controlled - to under 140/90 mm Hg. Even if you're taking medication, if your blood pressure is not below 140/90, you're still at increased risk for heart failure. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your medication and making lifestyle changes that will lower your blood pressure to under 140/90.

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5. Treatment for older people with high blood pressure is just as important as it is for younger adults. True

Studies have shown that older people, like younger people, who are treated for high blood pressure live longer, healthier lives. Older people can benefit from lifestyle changes, medicine, or a combination of both.

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6. If you are starting a new medication plan, you should talk with your doctor about why he or she is recommending it. True

That's right - a plan that fits in with your lifestyle means that you're more likely to stick to it. Understanding your treatment will help keep you motivated and in control.

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7. If you've been taking your high blood pressure medication, you can assume that your blood pressure is in control. False

Especially in people over age 55, blood pressure may not be adequately controlled because the top number (the systolic blood pressure) remains high. Talk to your doctor. If your blood pressure is over 140/90 mm Hg, he or she can adjust your medication and help you make lifestyle changes that will lower your blood pressure.

For more information on the topics above, please visit the following areas.


Portions of the above information were provided with the kind permission of the National National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/)


Last Editorial Review: 10/8/2002