High Blood Pressure Medicine
The different groups and how they work

Whether you want to know what kind of high blood pressure medicine you have been prescribed or how they work, I will try and name high blood pressure medication groups and their lists that lead the market or are the most popular ones with a brief summery of their action.

The main goal of being treated with high blood pressure drugs, or antihypertensives, should be to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure that can result from high blood pressure.

There is evidence that if your blood pressure can be dropped by 5 or 6 mmHg, the risk of stroke can be decreased by 40% and coronary heart disease by 15 to 20%. In that case your doctor should be taking into consideration, your character, the drugs` side-effects, any other medication you are taking, and the cost.

This high blood pressure medicine list along with their group descriptions are just a select section out of a wide range of drugs on the market. It is for information purposes only that I have listed these different types of drugs that doctors may prescribe and how they work and can affect you. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe but to fill you in on the “what”, “why”, and “how” details that generally the doctors don’t have time to explain but you need to know.

Antiadrenergics – (Adrenergic receptor antagonists)

Beta Blockers

Doctors are more likely to choose this high blood pressure medicine for Asthmatics, those with nervousness or tremor, or those who have already had a heart attack. (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom downgraded the use of beta-blockers in their new guidelines on antihypertensive or high blood pressure drugs in June 2006. It is now thought that they present a risk of Type 2 Diabetes.). Another symptom they can create in which they come second in line to Thaizides is impotency.

Read about the new findings on Beta Blockers and ACE Inhibitors, that they can actually raise blood pressure.

  • Atenolol (less effective in lowering blood pressure)
  • Metoprolol
  • Nadolol
  • Oxprenolol
  • Pindolol
  • Propranolol
  • Timolol

Alpha blockers – Doctors may prescribe this kind of high blood pressure medicine to those who are suffering from of benign prostatic hyperplasia, which means an enlargement of the prostate gland, impeding the flow or urine, but they are not longer used as an initial treatment for high blood pressure

  • Doxazosin
  • Indoramin
  • Phentolamine
  • Phenoxybenzamine
  • Prasosin
  • Terazosin
  • Tolazoline

Alpha and Beta blockers that are mixed:

  • Bucindolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Labetalol

Calcium channel blockers

When calcium enters the muscle cells of the heart, it causes it to contract and the artery walls then narrow. Calcium channel blockers, a common high blood pressure medicine, work by blocking calcium from entering receptors so that artery walls dilate or open wider:

  • Diltiazem
  • Verapamil

Dihydropyridines – Another group of Calcium channel blockers:

  • Amlodipine
  • Felodipine
  • Isradipine
  • Nifedipine
  • Nimodipine
  • Nitrendipine

ACE inhibitors – A chemical called Angiotensin II causes the muscles of blood vessels to contract, restricting blood flow and raising the pressure (hypertension). An active enzyme called ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) is needed to produce this chemical Angiotensin II from Angiotensin I, so to slow down its production so that blood vessels can dilate, doctors will prescribe a high blood pressure medicine called an ACE inhibitor:

  • Captopril
  • Enalapril
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandopril
  • Benzapril

Read about the new findings on Beta Blockers and ACE Inhibitors, that they can actually raise blood pressure.

If drugs are making you feel ill with troublesome side effects, you may perhaps wish to try the natural way to help control your blood pressure.

Have a discussion with your doctor and ask him to support your decision to try an alternative therapy.

You will discover there are safe alternatives that you can adopt as you gradually come off your prescribed drugs or at least reduce them.

There are Natural Vasodilators that you can use as substitutes or Natural Diuretics.

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists

A high blood pressure medicine group also known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), which also work by slowing down the production of the chemical angiotensin II. Benicar HCT is an example.

These drugs are sometimes prescribed if a patient is trouble by a cough resulting from using ACE inhibitors

  • Candesartan
  • Irbesartan
  • Losartan
  • Olmesartan
  • Telmisartan
  • Valsartan

New Scientific Research Puts Doctors and the Public on Alert!

The Lancet published the findings of a study online involving angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), that have put the public on alert. According to Dr. Steven Nissen the findings are disturbing and provocative, that raise crucial drug safety questions for practitioners and the regulatory community.

What were these findings?

Researcher from both the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and the Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, gathered date from archived trials on the efficiency of seven brands of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). A meta-analysis took place which is a trusted method of taking all previous and relevant data, examining the quality of the tests done, leading them to the conclusion that there may be an association of risk in developing cancer after taking these drugs over a period of time. More research needs to be carried out to lend support to the findings.

The Lancet report summary


Aldosterone antagonists – Diuretics, are a commonly prescribed, high blood pressure medicine. They block receptors in the heart, kidneys, brain, and blood vessels that receive Aldosterone. This causes frequent urination and sweating which rids the body of more salt and water than usual, lowering blood volume, which in turns lowers blood pressure. They are not recommended anymore as first-line high blood pressure drugs:

  • Spironolactone

Thiazides – One of the first diuretics that a doctor may prescribe are Thiazides. This group of medicines are leading in producing impotency, one of the side effects on users:

  • Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
  • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix)
  • Triamterene (Maxzide)

Natural Diuretics

A large community of visitors to my site are seriously thinking to change to natural diuretics because they are tired of suffering from side effects due to the pharmaceuticals. Click here to learn of 5 of the most popular and powerful natural diuretics you can use alternatively. This is for information purposes and not intended to diagnose or prescribe any treatment or therapy. Please consult your doctor before embarking on any self help coarse.

New Drugs


A new drug which combines Tekturn (aliskiren) a direct renin inhibitor, Amlodipine, and Hydrochlorothiazide. According to the results of preliminary studies it is reported to be more successful than giving multiple drug therapy.

This therapy is not intended to be used for initial treatment of hypertension.

  • It could cause electrolyte imbalance.
  • The efficacy and safety of this drug for pediatric patients has not been established.
  • Warning to pregnant mothers: Tekturna can cause injury and even death to a developing fetus because it acts directly on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
  • Tekturna can develop Angioedema a swelling of the face, lips, and tongue. Also swelling of the extremities, and larynx can occur in patients leading to hospitalization and the use of tubes.
  • It is important to note that Amturnide has not been studied in patients with heart failure.
  • Using Amturnide together with potassium supplements, potassium-sparing diuretics, or other salt substitutes such as celery salt which contains a lot of potassium can raise serum potassium.

Sevikar HCT Triple Combo

Another drug that has been circulating in Germany for a year has now been given the green light in the UK. Sevikar HCT is a triple combo drug. Doctors will use this drug to target the older generation with high blood pressure who can`t remember if they took all their pills when they have several to take. The ingredients are a combination of other high blood pressure drugs.

Rastrio Triple Combo

This drug contains almost the same ingredients but the third is a renin inhibitor. It is designed to be more convenient for patients and carries less complications for doctors that arise from prescribing multiple drug therapy.

Centrally acting adrenergic drugs

Alpha-receptors in the central part of the brain are stimulated by these high blood pressure drugs, causing arteries to open wider, which lowers blood pressure. This kind of high blood pressure medicine is only used as a last resort when all other antihypertensive drugs have failed:

  • Clonidine
  • Guanabenz
  • Methyldopa

Adrenergic neuron blockers

Read hear about new treatment for high blood pressure.

Although Statins is not prescribed for HBP, it is prescribed especially to older ones with high cholesterol. They often will have hypertension too, so it`s well worth knowing the dangers of this drug.