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Healthy living

Blood pressure medicine like EDARBI®(azilsartan medoxomil) and EDARBYCLOR®(azilsartan medoxomil/chlorthalidone) are important parts of your overall blood pressure management plan. But, they don't work alone. To help reduce your numbers and reach your goal of being a healthier you, lifestyle changes are necessary.

What are lifestyle changes?

Lifestyle changes are small yet meaningful choices you make every day. Together with taking your blood pressure medicine, they can help bring your numbers down. Many people find that once they're in the habit of making healthier choices, it becomes easier to stay on track. Start with a few little things—parking farther away so you walk more or trying different spices in your cooking instead of using salt. It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so don't try to do too much at once. One step at a time will get you further in the long run.

Weighing in on weight

As your weight decreases, so can your blood pressure. You may be able to lose weight by making small changes such as reducing calories, increasing physical activity, or changing some of your food choices. The goal is to maintain a normal body weight. Ask your doctor if you should start losing weight to help lower your blood pressure.

Shake the salt habit

Reducing salt (sodium) in your diet may help lower blood pressure. The current recommended amount of sodium is less than 2.4 grams (2400 mg) per day—about a teaspoon. Unfortunately, about 75% of the sodium in the average American diet doesn't come from the salt shaker. It comes from processed foods. Many times, you may not even realize what you're eating has salt in it. Things like bread, breakfast cereals, and pasta all contain salt. So what can you do to cut down on sodium? Start in the grocery store by reading labels. Here's some guidance:

  • Products that are "sodium free" or "salt free" cannot have more than 5 mg of salt per serving
  • Products that are "low sodium" cannot have more than 140 mg of salt per serving
  • Look for the American Heart Association heart-check mark. These foods have met specific nutrition requirements for certification

Also be aware of foods that you may not normally think of as high in sodium. Here are 6 popular foods that can add a lot of salt to your diet:

  • Breads and rolls: Check labels to find varieties with lower sodium
  • Cold cuts and cured meats: 6 thin slices of deli meat can make up as much as half of your recommended daily salt intake
  • Pizza: Depending on toppings, a slice of pizza can have more than half of your daily sodium in it
  • Poultry: Based on preparation method, chicken or turkey can contain a lot of sodium
  • Soup: Some canned soups have as much as 940 mg of sodium—more than 50% of your recommended daily intake. Choose lower-sodium varieties
  • Sandwiches: A fast-food sandwich or burger can contain more than a whole day's worth of recommended sodium. Choose half a sandwich and a side salad instead

For more tips on reducing sodium, download the reducing salt (sodium) fact sheet.

The couch is not your friend

Regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure numbers, among other things. Studies have shown that increasing your physical activity can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 4 to 9 mm Hg. Talk with your doctor about an exercise plan. Come up with something that works for you—you may not want to go to a gym, but love to work in the yard. You may start by taking a short walk every day. Whatever you do, the goal is to get to about 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. You can even break it up into 10-minute intervals. Some people find it's easier to stay active if they join a group, or partner with a neighbor, friend, or spouse.

Stress less

While stress doesn't cause high blood pressure, it can make it worse—at least temporarily. During stressful times, the body reacts by releasing stress hormones. This makes the heart beat faster and constricts the blood vessels, raising your blood pressure. Here are some things you can do to reduce your stress levels:

  • Give yourself time to get things done
  • Don't have too many items on your to-do list—delegate and learn to say "no" to requests
  • Recognize that some things are out of your control
  • Make time for yourself—sit quietly, breathe deeply, and think of a peaceful scene
  • Take care of yourself emotionally and physically—seek out a support network that's encouraging and positive; engage in physical activity to reduce tension
  • Enjoy the things you like to do. Living in the moment lets you really experience the things that bring you satisfaction

Music can also help you to relax and reduce tension. Marconi Union's song "Weightless" is the most relaxing song in the world, according to a 2011 Mindlab International study. You can also download our fact sheet on stress to find out more about how stress affects your body, and for more tips and hints on managing stress.

Get more healthy living tips

Download our fact sheets on reducing sodium and lowering stress. Both can help you make healthier choices, which can help lower your blood pressure and help you reach your overall health goal.

Important Safety Information

WARNING: EDARBI and EDARBYCLOR can cause harm or death to your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking EDARBI or EDARBYCLOR, tell your doctor right away. If you plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about other treatments to lower blood pressure.

  • Before taking EDARBI or EDARBYCLOR, tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Discuss with your doctor other ways to lower your blood pressure. It is not known if EDARBYCLOR passes into breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take EDARBI or EDARBYCLOR or breastfeed. You should not do both.
  • Do not take EDARBYCLOR if you make less urine because of kidney problems (anuria).
  • Do not take aliskiren-containing products with EDARBI or EDARBYCLOR if you have diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have heart problems or stroke, have gout, or have liver or kidney problems. Kidney problems may become worse in people that already have kidney disease. If you have kidney problems, you may need blood tests, and your doctor may need to lower your dose or may need to stop treatment with EDARBYCLOR.
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take other medicines to treat your high blood pressure or heart problem; water pills (diuretics); lithium; or digoxin.
  • EDARBI and EDARBYCLOR may cause serious side-effects including low blood pressure (hypotension) which may cause you to feel faint and dizzy. Vomiting and diarrhea, a low salt diet, sweating a lot, or not drinking enough fluid can also lead to low blood pressure.
  • If you feel faint or dizzy, lie down and call your doctor right away. If you pass out (faint) have someone call your doctor or get medical help. Stop taking EDARBYCLOR.
  • If you have fluid and body salt (electrolytes) problems, tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: dry mouth, confusion, thirst, lack of energy/weakness, drowsiness, passing very little urine or passing large amounts of urine, seizures, muscle pain/cramps, restlessness, muscle tiredness (fatigue), fast or abnormal heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, or constipation.
  • People who have increased levels of uric acid in the blood may develop gout. If you already have gout tell your doctor about worsening of your gout symptoms.
  • In clinical studies, the most common side effect seen with EDARBI was diarrhea (2.0%).
  • In clinical studies, the side effects seen with EDARBYCLOR included dizziness (8.9%) and tiredness (2.0%).

Please talk to your healthcare professional and see complete Prescribing Information for EDARBI and EDARBYCLOR.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Indications

EDARBI and EDARBYCLOR are prescription medicines used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Your doctor may prescribe other medicines for you to take along with EDARBI or EDARBYCLOR to treat your high blood pressure. EDARBYCLOR is used when one medicine is not enough or as the first medicine if your doctor decides you are likely to need more than one medicine. Medicines that lower your blood pressure may lower your chances of having a stroke or heart attack, but they don't work alone. They should be part of a complete treatment plan.