Antihypertensives are medications used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).


Brand/Generic Drug Names

benazepril, quinapril, losartan, telmisartan, clonidine, guanabenz, methyldopa, prazosin, reserpine, diazoxide, hydralazine, minoxidil, nitroprusside, labetalol
Common uses
hypertension, heart failure not responsive to conventional therapy, hypertensive crisis, angina, some dysrhythmias
ACE inhibitors: suppress renin-angiotensin conversion, vasodilate
Centrally acting adrenergics: inhibit sympathetic vasomotor center in central nervous system decreasing blood pressure, pulse, cardiac output
Peripherally acting adrenergics: inhibit sympathetic vasoconstriction by inhibiting release of norepinephrine/depleting norepinephrine stores
Vasodilators: produce relaxation of arteriolar smooth muscle causing decrease in blood pressure, increase in pulse and cardiac output
Class contraindications
allergy, heart block, children
Class precautions
elderly, dialysis, hypovolemia, leukemia, electrolyte imbalances
varies by drug
Adverse Reactions
hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, headache, nausea, vomiting, may vary
Additional Information
Assess blood, renal studies
Assess for edema, signs of congestive heart failure, renal symptoms
Evaluate therapeutic response: decreased blood pressure, edema, moist rales
Date of most recent Update
August 07, 2002
Further information is available in the writeup for the specific name(s) of this medication class