Using Vasodilators in Hypertension Treatment


Speaking of hypertension treatments, you may be familiar with certain types of medications. This time, the article will provide you with some useful information about vasodilators – a type of additional medication.

Examples of vasodilators

Vasodilators are a group of medicines including hydralazine hydrocholoride (apresoline), and minoxidil (loniten).

Why vasodilators are used

Vasodilators, or blood vessel dilators, can be prescribed to prevent certain medical conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia or eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy or childbirth)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure that affects the blood vessels in the lungs
  • Heart failure (the heart does not pump blood as well as it should)

How vasodilators work

Vasodilators relax the walls of the arteries and veins, prevent them from narrowing and tightening. This helps enlarge the blood vessels. Consequently, blood can flow more easily and the pressure can decrease. Vasodilators can be used when other drugs alone cannot control blood pressure.

Vasodilators work directly on the vessel walls.

Possible side effects of vasodilators

Like other medicines, vasodilators have side effects. These side effects can range from mild to severe that require doctor’s attention.

Common side effects of vasodilators include:

  • Hydralazine can cause headaches, abnormal heartbeat, swelling around the eyes, or pain in the joints.
  • Minoxidil can cause fluid retention (your weight may gain significantly) and excessive hair growth.
  • Other side effects include trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, or flushing.

However, most side effects are mild and can disappear after a few days. Therefore, it is suggested that you should not stop taking medicines even if you notice these symptoms. In case these side effects become more serious, you are advised to call your doctor as soon as possible.

Vasodilators can be used to support other drugs in treatment for high blood pressure. Usually, they are not first-line drugs. In spite of vasodilators’ possibility to result in some side effects such as headaches or joint pains, you ought not to stop taking them before consulting with your doctor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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