Blood Pressure Medicine
Diuretics rid the body of excess fluids and salt (sodium). Because this medication works in the kidneys and flushes excess water and sodium from the body, diuretics are sometimes called "water pills."
Some examples of diuretics used in the treatment of high blood pressure include:
- Spironolactone (Aldactone®)
- Triamterene/HCTZ (Dyazide®, Maxzide®)
- Triamterene (Dyrenium®)
- Bumetanide (Burinex®)
- Furosemide (Lasix®, Myrosemide®)
- Metolazone (Zaroxolyn®)
- Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) -- (Esidrix®, Microzide®, Oretic®).
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are newer medicines for blood pressure that protect your blood vessels from angiotensin II. As a result, with this type of medication, the blood vessels relax and become wider, and your blood pressure goes down.
Examples of ARBs include:
- Azilsartan (Edarbi™) or azilsartan/chlorthalidone (Edarbyclor™)
- Candesartan (Atacand®) or candesartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Atacand HCT®)
- Eprosartan (Teveten®) or eprosartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Teveten® HCT)
- Irbesartan (Avapro®) or irbesartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Avalide®)
- Losartan (Cozaar®) or losartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar®)
- Olmesartan (Benicar®), olmesartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Benicar HCT®), or amlodipine and olmesartan (AZOR™)
- Telmisartan (Micardis®) or telmisartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Micardis® HCT)
- Valsartan (Diovan®) or valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT®).
Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
Calcium channel blockers keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This reduces the heart rate and causes the blood vessels to relax. In turn, blood pressure goes down.
CCBs used as high blood pressure medicines include:
- Amlodipine (Norvasc®)
- Amlodipine/benazepril (Lotrel®)
- Nifedipine (Adalat®, Procardia®)
- Felodipine (Plendil®)
- Nisoldipine (Sular®)
- Verapamil (Calan®, Covera®, Verelan®)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem®, Tiazac®).
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) keep your body from making a hormone called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow. ACE inhibitors prevent this narrowing, so your blood pressure goes down.
ACE inhibitors used to lower blood pressure include:
- Enalapril (Vasotec®)
- Ramipril (Altace®)
- Quinapril (Accupril®)
- Benazepril (Lotensin®)
- Captopril (Capoten®)
- Fosinopril (Monopril®)
- Lisinopril (Zestril®, Prinivil®).
Alpha blockers reduce nerve impulses to blood vessels. This enables blood to pass through the vessels more easily, resulting in lower blood pressure.
Alpha blockers used to treat high blood pressure include:
Alpha-beta blockers work in the same fashion as alpha-blockers do, but they also slow down the heart rate (they are similar to beta blockers in this way). This category of blood pressure medicine results in less blood being pumped through the blood vessels, and, as a result, the blood pressure goes down. Carvedilol (Coreg®) is an example of an alpha-beta blocker used to manage high blood pressure.