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High Blood Pressure Medication List | Med-Health.net

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High Blood Pressure Medication List and Cautions

There is a long list of medications and drug combinations that are commonly used in the treatment of hypertension (or high blood pressure). Choosing the best drug from this high blood pressure medication list for different individuals depends on what their body needs and which ones they will tolerate well. Consult your doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.

11 Common Types of High Blood Pressure Medications

High blood pressure medications, or antihypertensives, are prescribed by doctors based on various factors such as your current blood pressure levels and how your body reacts to them. Here is a high blood pressure medication list from the American Heart Associaton, which is meant to provide information but not to serve as a substitute for medical advice.

1. Diuretics

Diuretics are medications that help the body eliminate excess water and salt to control your blood pressure. These are often combined with other prescription drugs.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

chlorthalidone   

Hygroton     

chlorothiazide

Diuril

furosemide

Lasix

hydrochlorothiazide

Hydrodiuril, Esidrix, Microzide

indapamide

Lozol

metolazone

Mykrox, Zaroxolyn

Potassium-sparing diuretics

amiloride hydrochloride

Midamar

spironolactone

Aldactone

triamterene

Dyrenium

Loop diuretic

bumetanide

Bumex

Combination diuretics

amiloride hydrochloride + hydrochlorothiazide

Moduretic

spironolactone + hydrochlorothiazide

Aldactazide

triamterene + hydrochlorothiazide

Dyazide, Maxzide

Possible side effects:

  • Some diuretics may cause a decrease in your blood potassium levels, leading to weakness, tiredness and leg cramps. This may be relieved by eating potassium-rich foods, taking potassium supplements, or combining treatments with "potassium sparing" diuretics.
  • Prolonged use of diuretics may lead to gout attacks.
  • Diuretics may result in increased blood sugar levels.
  • Impotence might happen.

2. Beta-Blockers

These drugs reduce rate, workload and blood output of your heart which results in lowering of blood pressure levels.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

acebutolol

Sectral

atenolol

Tenormin

betaxolol

Kerlone

bisoprolol fumarate

Zebeta

carteolol hydrochloride

Cartrol

metoprolol tartrate

Lopressor

metoprolol succinate

Toprol-XL

nadolol

Corgard

penbutolol sulfate

Levatol

pindolol

Visken

propranolol hydrochloride

Inderal

solotol hydrochloride

Betapace

timolol maleate

Blocadren

Combination beta-blocker/ diuretic

hydrochlorothiazide and bisoprolol

Ziac

Possible side effects:

  • Insomnia.
  • Coldness of hands and feet.
  • Depression.
  • Tiredness.
  • Slowing of heartbeats.
  • Asthma symptoms.
  • Impotence.
  • Elevated blood sugar levels.
  • Consult your doctor if you are considering having a baby or if you may be pregnant before taking beta-blockers.

3. ACE Inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting enzymes or ACE inhibitors help your bodymake less angiotensin which helps blood vessels widen and relax, thus lowering the blood pressure.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

benazepril hydrochloride

Lotensin

captopril

Capoten

enalapril maleate

Vasotec

fosinopril sodium

Monopril

lisinopril

Prinivel, Zestril

moexipril

Univasc

perindopril

Aceon

quinapril hydrochloride

Accupril

ramipril

Altace

trandolapril

Mavik

Possible side effects:

  • Skin rashes.
  • Chronic dry cough.
  • Loss of taste.
  • Kidney damage (rare).
  • Consult your doctor if you are considering having a baby or if you may be pregnant before taking ACE inhibitors which can be dangerous to you and your baby. 

4. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers

These high blood pressure medications (ARBs) block the effects of a chemical called angiotensin which causes arteries to constrict or become narrow. This results in blood vessels staying open, thus reducing blood pressure.         

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

candesartan

Atacand

eprosartan mesylate

Teveten

irbesarten

Avapro

losartin potassium

Cozaar

telmisartan

Micardis

valsartan

Diovan

Possible side effects:

  • Occasional dizziness.
  • ARBs can cause death to a fetus. Consult your doctor if you are considering having a baby or if you are pregnant before taking ARBs.

5. Calcium Channel Blockers

These drugs prevent calcium from entering smooth muscle cells in the heart and blood vessels, thus reducing the force of contraction, reducing heart rate and lowering blood pressure.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

amlodipine besylate

Norvasc, Lotrel

bepridil

Vasocor

diltiazem hydrochloride

Cardizem CD, Cardizem SR, Dilacor XR, Tiazac

felodipine

Plendil

isradipine

DynaCirc, DynaCirc CR

nicardipine

Cardene SR

nifedipine

Adalat CC, Procardia XL

nisoldipine

Sular

verapamil hydrochloride

Calan SR, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan

Possible side effects:

  • Palpitations.
  • Constipation.
  • Swollen ankles.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.

6. Alpha Blockers

These medications reduce arterial wall resistance, thus relaxing the tone of the blood vessel walls.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

doxazosin mesylate

Cardura

prazosin hydrochloride

Minipress

terazosin hydrochloride

Hytrin

Possible side effects:

  • Rapid heart rates.
  • Dizziness.
  • Low blood pressure upon standing up.

7. Alpha-2 Receptor Agonist

This kind of high blood pressure medication reduces the activity of the adrenaline-producing (sympathetic) division of the autonomic nervous system. It is considered a first line of choice during pregnancy since adverse events are uncommon in the pregnant woman or her developing fetus.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

methyldopa

 

Possible side effects:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.

8. Combined Alpha and Beta-Blockers

These drugs are used as an intravenous drip for patients during a hypertensive crisis. These may also be prescribed for use in outpatients who are at risk for heart failure.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

carvedilol

Coreg

labetolol hydrochloride

Normodyne, Trandate

Possible side effects: Sudden drop in blood pressure when standing up

9. Central Agonists

These drugs help reduce blood vessel contraction, but follow a different mechanism of action than the alpha-blockers and beta-blockers.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

alpha methyldopa

Aldomet

clonidine hydrochloride

Catapres

guanabenz acetate

Wytensin

guanfacine hydrochloride

Tenex

Possible side effects:

1) Alpha methyldopa may cause:

  • A sudden drop in blood pressure when standing or walking.
  • Weakness or faintness.
  • Drowsiness/sluggishness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Fever.
  • Anemia.
  • Impotence.

2) Clonidine hydrochloride, guanabenz acetate or guanfacine hydrochloride may cause:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Constipation.
  • Drowsiness.

10. Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitors

These drugs block brain chemicals called neurotransmitters which trigger smooth muscles in blood vessels to constrict. They are used only when other high blood pressure medications do not help.      

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

guanadrel

Hylorel

guanethidine monosulfate

Ismelin

reserpine

Serpasil

Possible side effects:

1) Guanadrel or guanethidine may cause:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness.
  • Weakness in the morning or when standing up suddenly.
  • Impotence.

2) Reserpine may cause:

  • Stuffy nose.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Nightmares.
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression.

11. Blood Vessel Dilators

These drugs are also called vasodilators, and they cause the muscles in the blood vessels walls to relax and dilate (widen), resulting in increased blood flow.

Generic Names

Common Brand Names

hydralazine hydrocholoride

Apresoline

minoxidil

Loniten

Possible side effects:

1) Hydralzine may cause:

  • Headaches.
  • Swelling around your eyes.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Joint pains.

2) Minoxidil is only used in cases of severe hypertension that does not respond to other treatments. It may cause:

  • Weight gain from fluid retention.
  • Excessive hair growth.