There are many types of medications used to treat high blood pressure. The medications are classified as follows:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, block the production of a body chemical that constricts the arteries. ACE inhibitors include benazepril hydrochloride, enalapril maleate and quinapril hydrochloride.
- Angiotensin-II receptor blockers hinder the effect of a body chemical that constricts the arteries. This group of medications includes valsartan, losartin potassium and candesartan.
- Beta-blockers lower the heart rate and increase the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat. Common beta-blockers include atenolol, propanolol hydrochloride and nadolol.
- Calcium-channel blockers lower the heart rate and relax the blood vessels. Some common calcium-channel blockers include amlodipine besylate, diltiazem hydrochloride, nifedipine and verapamil.
- Diuretics, or water pills, help the body get rid of extra fluid and sodium. Common diuretics include furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide and chlorthalidone.
- Sympathetic nerve inhibitors keep the nervous system from constricting arteries. This group includes clonidine hydrochloride, guanabenz acetate and alpha methyldopa.
- Vasodilators relax the muscles in the blood vessel walls and allow the vessels to dilate. Common vasodilators include isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine.