High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Medications (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
In this Article
- What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
- High blood pressure medication list
- Beta blockers
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha blockers
- Alpha-2 receptor agonist
- Central agonists
- Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
- What are the most common blood pressure medications?
- What is the best high blood pressure medication?
- What are common high blood pressure side effects?
- Is it safe to take high blood pressure medication during pregnancy?
- Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking high blood pressure medications?
- Does high blood pressure lead to weight gain?
Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
There was a time when the high blood pressure medication list was very short indeed. In the 1950s, reserpine was one of the few products on the market to treat hypertension. It is rarely used due to its numerous side effects and drug interactions. The peripheral adrenergic inhibitors work in the brain to block signals that tell blood vessels to constrict. They are mostly used when other high blood pressure medications fail to solve the problem. Guanadrel (Hylorel), guanethidine monosulfate (Ismelin), and reserpine (Serpasil) are peripheral adrenergic inhibitors.
Vasodilators relax artery wall muscles, and that causes blood pressure to drop. These drugs are usually not used alone -- and, in the case of Minoxidil (Loniten) -- used only in severe hypertension. Hydralazine (Apresoline) and minoxidil (Loniten) are vasodilators.
What are the most common blood pressure medications?
In terms of dollar sales, recent statistics put the angiotensin II receptor blocker valsartan (Diovan) in the lead for high blood pressure medications, followed by the beta blocker metoprolol, the generic combination of valsartan and HCTZ, olmesartan (Benicar), and olmesartan and HCTZ (Benicar HCT).
In terms of prescriptions written, the ACE inhibitor lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) tops the list, followed by amlodipine besylate (Norvasc), a calcium channel blocker, and generic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
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