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There is now an enormous range of effective drugs for hypertension but just a few are used overwhelming commonly. These are drugs, which large scale trials have shown to be the most effective and the most well tolerated.One major class are called beta-blockers; examples are metoprolol and atenolol. The exact mode of action of beta-blockers is still unknown but they undoubtedly strengthen the heart and reduce the effect of high blood pressure on the kidney. The main side effects of beta-blockers are a vague sense of tiredness and breathlessness, while some people find that they get cold fingers and toes. They are often effective on their own but tend to be given in a lower dosage in combination with other medication in order to minimise side-effects. The next commonly used class ofdrugs is called diuretics.

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