Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure

3.5 Classes of Medications-Part 3

CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS: The heart is a muscle that contracts each time it beats, and calcium helps muscles to contract. Calcium channel blockers help blood vessels relax and widen. This lowers blood pressure.

  • Amlodipine (Norvasc®)
  • Clevidipine (Cleviprex®)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem®, Cartia®, Dilacor®)
  • Felodipine (Plendil®)
  • Isradipine (Dynacirc CR®)

Food-Drug Interactions: Grapefruit juice may interact with Nifedipine (Adalat®, Nifediac®, Procardia®). Avoid eating or drinking grapefruit juice while taking these medications.

VASODILATORS: They help the blood vessels to open and relax. This lowers blood pressure.

Hydralazine (Apresoline®)

Minoxidil (Loniten®)

ALPHA BLOCKERS: They decrease the resistance of the blood vessels and lower blood pressure by helping the blood vessels to relax.

Doxazosin (Cardura®)

Prazosin (Minipress®)

Terazosin (Hytrin®)

Side Effects and Other Warnings

Sometimes a combination of medications may be needed to control blood pressure and some medications are given based on other medical conditions. Sometimes you may need to switch to a different medication. Also, sometimes medications have side effects. Side effects are undesirable and unintended effects of some medications. Side effects of some high blood pressure medications include:

  • Weakness
  • Leg cramps
  • Increase in blood sugar
  • Tiredness or depression
  • Insomnia (can’t sleep at night, tired during the day)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Symptoms of asthma
  • Skin rash
  • A cough that doesn’t go away
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headaches

I have provided this list only as a warning. This is not to scare you. You may experience side effects, or you may not. If you do experience any of these side effects, let your doctor know. They can change your medications or decrease the dose of the medications. If you haven’t been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, there are some lifestyle changes that you can make!

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