Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.
High blood pressure treatments: Taking tablets
Q. Why do I need to take blood pressure medicines?
A. Medicines can be a very helpful way to lower your blood pressure. As explained on the Why is blood pressure important? page, the higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of having a stroke, heart attack or heart failure in the future. Research studies over the last 30 years have shown that lowering your blood pressure reduces your risk of developing these problems in later life.
Some people will be able to lower their blood pressure by making lifestyle changes but for many others adding in medicines will be the most successful way to lower their blood pressure in the long term.
You will be asked to take blood pressure medicines if:
- Your readings are above a certain level, for example 160/100mmHg
- You are at high risk of having a stroke or heart disease in the future because you have other risk factors as well as high blood pressure, for example a raised cholesterol level or smoking.
For more, please see How else can I reduce my risk of heart attacks and stroke?
- You have already made changes to what you eat and to your lifestyle and these have not lowered your blood pressure enough. For more on changes you can make, please see Making lifestyle changes