High Blood Pressure Medications

Blood Pressure MedicationsHigh blood pressure is treated using numerous different medications, which are called antihypertensives. The medications work differently and are divided into different categories based on the way that they work. There are benefits to each of them, along with potential side effects. Because there are so many medications, it may take a bit of time to determine which one will work the best for you. But the time is worth taking in order to reduce the high risks to your health.

For your convenience we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most high blood pressure medications.

Diuretic Medications

Diuretics are used to help the kidneys remove salt, or sodium, and excess water. By doing this, the amount of blood that needs to go through the blood vessels is reduced lowering the blood pressure. There are three different types within the groups of diuretics, thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing. There are typically less side effects from people taking medications within the thiazide group. This is most often found with those that take low doses and when used early in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Medications Included in Thiazide Diuretics:

Medications Included in Loop Diuretics:Loop Diuretic Medications

Medications Included in Potassium-Sparing Diuretics:

The different diuretic types may also be combined. These combinations include:

Beta Blocker Medications

beta blocker medicationBeta blocker drugs are designed to help the heart beat with less force and speed. This type of medication will lower the blood pressure by reducing the amount of blood that is pushed through the blood vessels each time it beats.

Included in these beta blocker medications are:

ACE Inhibitor Medications

ACE Inhibitor MedicationsAngiotensin II is a hormone the body makes. This hormone will cause the blood vessels in the body to constrict or narrow which
makes it more difficult for blood to flow through the vessels raising blood pressure. ACE inhibitors help to prevent the body from making this hormone, which will allow the blood vessels to expand allowing more blood to flow through and blood pressure to lower.

ACE Inhibitor medications included in these are:

Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB) MedicationsAngiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB) Medications

This type of medication also helps prevent the angiotensin II hormone from narrowing the blood vessels. In order for this hormone to constrict the blood vessel, it must find a receptor site and bind to it. An ARB is designed to prevent the hormone from binding and therefore can not narrow or constrict the blood vessel. This will then help lower the blood pressure.

Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB) medications included in these are:

Calcium Channel Blocker Medications

In order for muscles to contract, calcium must be moved in and out of the cells of the muscles. This type of medication prevents calcium from moving into the cells of the hearts and blood vessels smooth muscles. This will help relax the blood vessels and make it so the heart does not have to beat with as much force. This will then lower the blood pressure. Medications included in these are:

Alpha Blocker Medications

Alpha Blocker MedicationsWhen your body is in a state of chronic disease or is under stress, it begins to produce catecholamine hormones. This type of hormone, which includes epinephrine and norepinephrine, will make the heart beat faster, using more force. The hormones will also begin to narrow or constrict the blood vessels. All of these things will raise your blood pressure. The hormones are able to do all of this only once they have attached themselves to a receptor. Some of the blood vessels within your body have muscles around them that are called alpha adrenergic receptors. The hormone will attach to these receptors causing the blood vessels to constrict, muscles to contract raising your blood pressure. This type of medication blocks the hormones from attaching to the receptors allowing the heart to work at its normal pace and the blood vessels to remain open so the blood can flow freely allowing the blood pressure to fall. Included in these are:

Alpha-Beta Blocker Medications

Alpha-beta blockers are a combination of an alpha blocker and a beta blocker. They will block hormones from attaching to the beta and alpha receptors. This will help to slow down how quickly and forcefully the heart beats like a beta blocker does and decreases the narrowing of blood vessels like an alpha blocker does. Included in these are:

Alpha-2 Receptor Agonist MedicationsAlpha-2 Receptor Agonist Medications

This type of medication acts much like other alpha blockers by blocking hormones from attaching to alpha receptors, which will decrease your blood pressure. The biggest difference between this type of medication and alpha blockers is that they were created to target only one kind of alpha receptor. For pregnant women with high blood pressure, this is the first-choice in treatment because of there is a low risk for both the mother and the fetus.

One type of alpha-2 receptor agonists is methyldopa (Aldomet).

Central Agonist Medications

In order for catecholamines to be released, the brain will send a message to the nervous system telling it to release it. The catecholamines will then narrow the blood vessels and speed up the heart rate. In order to prevent this from happening, central agonists will prevent the message from being sent from the brain to the nervous system so the catecholamines will not be released. Included in these are:

Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitor Medications

Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors work inside the brain to block messengers from being sent out. This helps to prevent the smooth muscles from constricting because the message to do so will not be received. Typically, this type of medication will only be used when other types of medication do not work. Included are:

  • Reserpin (Serpasil)
  • Guanadrel (Hylorel)
  • Guanethidine monosulfate (Ismelin)

Vasodilator MedicationsVasodilator Medications

Blood pressure can be reduced by widening the blood vessels making it easier for the blood to flow through. Vasodilators are able to widen the blood vessels by relaxing the muscles that are within the walls of the blood vessels. Included are:

High Blood Pressure Drug Treatment Plans

When a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure, the first medication that is typically used is a thiazide diuretic. For some, a diuretic is enough to lower blood pressure, but for others it is not. In these cases, a combination of diuretic and another medication will be used. The second medication is typically one of these:

  • Beta blocker
  • ACE inhibitor
  • Calcium Channel Blocker
  • Angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB)

When a second medication is added, the blood pressure is often lowered more quickly. In addition, less of each type of medication can be taken, which could reduce the risk of side effects. A doctor will decide what type of medication to combine with the diuretic. This decision is often made based on whether or not other health problems exist and what the medication could do to the other problems if taken.

Doctors will continue to try medications until they find one that will work for you. If these medications do not work well enough for you, there are others that can be used, but they are less common and may run the risk of more side effects for you. This is why other medications are not given unless these others fail to work.