How Do Other Antihypertensives Work?

Reviewed on 1/31/2022

How do other antihypertensives work?

Antihypertensives are medications used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Other antihypertensives are medications that are not categorized into any specific class of antihypertensives. Other antihypertensives include two medications that were part of the earliest hypertension treatment but are rarely used now, except to manage extremely severe hypertension.

Other antihypertensives include the following:

Mecamylamine: Mecamylamine is a medication that acts on the central nervous system to reduce blood pressure. Mecamylamine inhibits the activity of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, from stimulating nicotinic ganglion receptors in the autonomic nervous system, which regulates blood pressure. This reduces nerve signal transmission in the sympathetic nervous system and lowers blood pressure.

Reserpine: Reserpine is an alkaloid extracted from the roots of a plant, Rauwolfia serpentina. Reserpine binds to storage vesicles of nerve cells (neurons) and prevents the uptake of neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, depleting their supply. This slows the activity of the nervous system, with a reduction in blood pressure and sedative effects. Reserpine is no longer available in the US.

What are the uses of other antihypertensives?

Other antihypertensives are oral tablets used in the treatment of the following:

  • Mecamylamine:
    • Moderately severe-to-severe essential hypertension (high blood pressure that’s not the result of any medical condition)
    • Uncomplicated malignant hypertension (extremely high blood pressure that develops rapidly and can cause organ damage)
  • Reserpine:

What are side effects of other antihypertensives?

Side effects of other antihypertensives vary with each drug. A few of the most common side effects may include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some of the other antihypertensives?

Generic and brand names of some of the other antihypertensives include:

  • mecamylamine
  • reserpine (discontinued in the US)
  • Serpasil (discontinued in the US)

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