High Blood Pressure

Frequently Asked Questions

15. What medications are commonly used to treat high blood pressure?

Today, many different types of medicines are available to control high blood pressure. These medicines work in different ways. Some lower blood pressure by removing extra fluid and salt from your body. Others affect blood pressure by slowing down the heartbeat, or by relaxing and widening blood vessels. Often, two or more drugs work better than one.

Here are the types of medicines used to treat high blood pressure.

  • Diuretics (water or fluid Pills) flush excess sodium from your body, which reduces the amount of fluid in your blood and helps to lower your blood pressure. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill.
  • Beta Blockers help your heart beat slower and with less force. As a result, your heart pumps less blood through your blood vessels, which can help to lower your blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors. Angiotensin-II is a hormone that narrows blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. ACE converts Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II. ACE inhibitors block this process, which stops the production of Angiotensin II, lowering blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) block angiotensin II hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. When angiotensin II is blocked, the blood vessels do not constrict or narrow, which can lower your blood pressure.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers keep calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels. This allows blood vessels to relax, which can lower your blood pressure.
  • Alpha Blockers reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels. This allows blood to flow more freely, causing blood pressure to go down.
  • Alpha-Beta Blockers reduce nerve impulses the same way alpha blockers do. However, like beta blockers, they also slow the heartbeat. As a result, blood pressure goes down.
  • Central Acting Agents act in the brain to decrease nerve signals that narrow blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure.
  • Vasodilators relax the muscles in blood vessel walls, which can lower blood pressure.