Medications for Hypertension

The medicines below are used to treat hypertension. Only the most basic problems are listed. Use each of them as your doctor tells you. If you have any questions or can’t follow the package instructions, call your doctor. You may need to take more than one type. This is because they work in different ways.

Blood pressure (BP) medicines must be taken daily. If you have problems because of the medicines, let your doctor know. Don't stop taking them on your own.

Taking medicines as advised is vital to controlling your BP. This will lower the chances of other health problems.

Prescription Medicines

Diuretics

  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Indapamide
  • Spironolactone

Beta-blockers

  • Atenolol
  • Propranolol hydrochloride
  • Metoprolol
  • Nadolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Acebutolol
  • Pindolol
  • Bisoprolol

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

  • Benazepril hydrochloride
  • Captopril
  • Enalapril maleate
  • Quinapril
  • Perindopril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril
  • Fosinopril
  • Moexipril
  • Lisinopril

Angiotensin II antagonists

  • Irbesartan
  • Losartan potassium
  • Valsartan
  • Candesartan
  • Olmesartan
  • Telmisartan
  • Eprosartan

Calcium channel blockers

  • Verapamil hydrochloride
  • Diltiazem hydrochloride
  • Amlodipine
  • Sustained release nifedipine
  • Felodipine
  • Nisoldipine

Alpha-blockers

  • Prazosin
  • Terazosin
  • Doxazosin

Alpha beta blockers

  • Labetalol
  • Carvedilol

Centrally-acting nervous system drugs

  • Clonidine
  • Methyldopa

Vasodilators

  • Hydralazine hydrochloride

Prescription Medicines

Diuretics

Common names:

  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Indapamide
  • Spironolactone

Diuretics help the kidneys get rid of excess water in the body. This will make you pass urine more often. This lowers the pressure inside the blood vessels.

Possible side effects:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Frequent urination

Beta-blockers

Common names:

  • Atenolol
  • Propranolol hydrochloride
  • Metoprolol
  • Nadolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Acebutolol
  • Pindolol
  • Bisoprolol

Beta-blockers lessen the workload of the heart. Less force from the heart will lead to lower BP.

Possible side effects:

  • Lightheadedness or because of low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Feeling tired

Beta-blockers may not be the first type of medicines your doctor has you take.

Angiotensin-converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Common names:

  • Benazepril hydrochloride
  • Captopril
  • Enalapril maleate
  • Quinapril
  • Perindopril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril
  • Fosinopril
  • Moexipril
  • Lisinopril

ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels. Less force from the heart will lead to lower BP.

Possible side effects:

  • Dry, unproductive cough
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness or because of low blood pressure

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

Common names:

  • Irbesartan
  • Losartan potassium
  • Valsartan
  • Candesartan
  • Olmesartan
  • Telmisartan
  • Eprosartan

ARBs relax blood vessels. Less force from the heart will lead to lower BP.

Possible side effects:

Calcium Channel Blockers

Common names:

  • Verapamil hydrochloride
  • Diltiazem hydrochloride
  • Amlodipine
  • Sustained release nifedipine
  • Felodipine
  • Nisoldipine

Calcium channel blockers relax the blood vessels.

Possible side effects:

Alpha blockers

Common names:

  • Prazosin
  • Terazosin
  • Doxazosin

Alpha blockers lower BP by lowering nerve impulses to the blood vessels. This relaxes the blood vessels.

Possible side effects:

  • Lightheadedness or because of low blood pressure
  • Headache

Alpha-beta Blockers

Common names:

  • Labetalol
  • Carvediol

Alpha-beta blockers lower BP relaxing blood vessels.

Possible side effects:

  • Lightheadedness or because of low blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Centrally Acting Nervous System Drugs

Common names:

  • Clonidine
  • Methyldopa

These medicines lower BP by relaxing blood vessels.

Possible side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Redness, itching, and skin irritation (with skin patch)

Vasodilators

Common name—hydralazine hydrochloride

Vasodilators lower blood pressure by directly relaxing blood vessel walls.

Possible side effects:

  • Fluid retention
  • Rapid heart rate

Special Considerations    TOP

If you are taking medicines:

  • Take the medicine as directed. Don’t change the amount or the schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Don’t share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicines can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one medicine. This includes over-the-counter products and supplements.
  • Plan for refills as needed.

Note : Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can make your BP higher. They also and make your medicines less effective. Talk to your doctor before taking them.

References:

Antihypertensive drugs and dosing. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 1, 2017. Accessed October 1, 2018.
High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure. Accessed October 1, 2018.
Hypertension medication selection and management. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed October 1, 2018.
Medications and blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 18, 2017. Accessed October 1, 2018.
2/28/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed...: CS Wiysonge, H Bradley,Volmink J, Mayosi BM, Opie LH. Beta-blockers for hypertension. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD002003.
4/2/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905359/Choosing-Wisely: Choosing wisely. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905359/Choosing-Wisely. Updated September 18, 2018. Accessed October 1, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC

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