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Medications for High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Other names: Drug-Induced Hypertension

High blood pressure is a term that is used to acknowledge that a person’s blood pressure is above what is considered normal. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

Measuring somebody's blood pressure gives us an indication of how effectively their heart is working to pump blood around their body. If their heart and blood vessels are working efficiently, then their blood pressure will be normal or slightly below normal. If their heart is having to work very hard to pump blood around their body, then their blood pressure will be high.

Blood pressure is composed of two measurements.

  • The first recording is called the systolic pressure and it measures the force the heart must pump against to get blood to flow around the body. It can indicate how flexible or stiff the blood vessels are. During this measurement, the blood pressure cuff inflates to a certain extent and records what pressure around the arm stops blood flow.
  • The second recording is called diastolic pressure. This measures the resting pressure when the heart relaxes between heartbeats. It is recorded while the blood pressure cuff is deflating.

Most experts consider a normal blood pressure to be 120/80 mm Hg. Ideally, everybody’s blood pressure should be below 130/80 mm Hg. If the first number is above 130 or the second number is above 80 then a person is said to have high blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Most people experience no symptoms when their blood pressure is high. Sometimes people may develop a headache or feel unwell; however, most do not connect these vague symptoms as having to do with their heart.

If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can damage the blood vessels and increase a person’s risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. It also causes the heart to enlarge and weaken because it essentially wears itself out from having to work so hard to push blood around the body. People with high blood pressure are also more likely to develop high cholesterol, kidney and eye problems, and have poor circulation in the legs and feet.

How is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?

It is not uncommon for your blood pressure to go high occasionally; however, it is persistently high blood pressure that is a concern. For this reason, if a doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure and it is high but you don’t have any risk factors or symptoms, then at least two other separate measurements should be taken before you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Before getting your blood pressure taken you should avoid the following for at least an hour before the measurement:

  • Strenuous exercise
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Eating
  • Stressful situations.

Sit down for at least five minutes before the reading is taken and don’t talk while it is being measured.

Other tests may be ordered if your doctor concludes you have high blood pressure. These may include blood tests, an electrocardiogram, and sometimes a chest x-ray.

How is High Blood Pressure Treated?

Treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is. For people whose systolic reading falls in the range 120 to 129 and the diastolic reading is equal to or less than 80, lifestyle changes are usually recommended over medications. These may include:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Eating less salt
  • Eating less saturated fats
  • Increased physical activity
  • More physical activity
  • Limiting alcohol.

If treatment is considered necessary, sometimes more than one medication is prescribed. Medications for high blood pressure include:

  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Angiotensin-receptor blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Alpha-blockers.

Drugs used to treat High Blood Pressure

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
ramipril 6.1 88 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: ramipril systemic

Brand name:  Altace

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Zestril 6.7 12 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: lisinopril systemic

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

diltiazem 5.2 66 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: diltiazem systemic

Brand names:  Cartia XT, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Dilacor XR, Dilt-XR, Diltia XT, Diltzac, Matzim LA, Taztia XT, Tiadylt ER, Tiazac …show all

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents, group IV antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

hydrochlorothiazide / triamterene 5.7 44 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: hydrochlorothiazide / triamterene systemic

Brand names:  Maxzide, Dyazide, Maxzide-25

Drug class: potassium sparing diuretics with thiazides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

irbesartan 4.5 91 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: irbesartan systemic

Brand name:  Avapro

Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

nifedipine 4.1 84 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: nifedipine systemic

Brand names:  Procardia XL, Adalat CC, Afeditab CR

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

olmesartan 6.3 171 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: olmesartan systemic

Brand name:  Benicar

Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Vasotec 2.0 1 review
Rx D N

Generic name: enalapril systemic

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

chlorthalidone 4.0 30 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: chlorthalidone systemic

Drug class: thiazide diuretics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Coreg 5.5 15 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: carvedilol systemic

Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Diovan HCT 6.7 20 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: hydrochlorothiazide / valsartan systemic

Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

hydrochlorothiazide / losartan 6.4 56 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: hydrochlorothiazide / losartan systemic

Brand name:  Hyzaar

Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Katerzia Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: amlodipine systemic

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Maxzide 9.3 5 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: hydrochlorothiazide / triamterene systemic

Drug class: potassium sparing diuretics with thiazides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

verapamil 5.7 17 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: verapamil systemic

Brand names:  Calan SR, Verelan, Verelan PM

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents, group IV antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

amlodipine / benazepril 5.8 50 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: amlodipine / benazepril systemic

Brand names:  Lotrel, Amlobenz

Drug class: ACE inhibitors with calcium channel blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

benazepril 5.3 18 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: benazepril systemic

Brand name:  Lotensin

Drug class: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Benicar HCT 6.5 28 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: hydrochlorothiazide / olmesartan systemic

Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

bisoprolol 6.6 42 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: bisoprolol systemic

Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

doxazosin 5.1 24 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: doxazosin systemic

Brand name:  Cardura

Drug class: antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

labetalol 5.7 15 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: labetalol systemic

Brand name:  Trandate

Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Tenormin 7.1 9 reviews
Rx D N X

Generic name: atenolol systemic

Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cartia XT 5.5 14 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: diltiazem systemic

Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents, group IV antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Coreg CR 6.7 3 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: carvedilol systemic

Drug class: non-cardioselective beta blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Exforge 5.9 54 reviews
Rx D N

Generic name: amlodipine / valsartan systemic

Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with calcium channel blockers

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Frequently asked questions

Topics under High Blood Pressure

Alternative treatments for High Blood Pressure

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for High Blood Pressure. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription only.
OTC Over-the-counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over-the-counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.