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High Blood Pressure (cont.)

What MedicationsTreat High Blood Pressure?

The decision as to which medication to use depends upon the patient’s situation and underlying medical conditions. Individuals with diabetes, kidney disease, pregnancy, and other secondary causes of hypertension may have specific medication needs.

Water Pills (diuretics)


  • Beta-blockers reduce heart rate and decrease the force of heart contraction by blocking the action of adrenaline receptors. Beta blockers are widely prescribed and effective but can cause increased fatigue and decreased exercise tolerance because they prevent an increased heart rate as a normal response to physical activity.
  • They are also prescribed for people who have associated heart disease, angina, or history of a heart attack.
  • Examples of beta blockers include, carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor), atenolol (Tenormin)

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

Blockers of Central Sympathetic (autonomic nervous) System

  • These agents block messages from the brain's autonomic nervous system that contract blood vessels. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the unconscious nervous system of the body that controls heart rate, breathing rate, and other basic functions.
  • These medications relax blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure, for example, clonidine (Catapres)

Direct Vasodilators

  • Direct vasodilators relax (dilate) the blood vessels to allow blood to flow under lower pressure.
  • These medications are most often used in times of hypertensive emergency and are injected intravenously to quickly lower blood pressure readings.
  • Examples include nitroprusside (Nitropress), and diazoxide (Hyperstat).

Take your high blood pressure medicine as prescribed and only discontinue them on the advise of your doctor or other healthcare professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017

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