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High Blood Pressure -- Medicines to Help You

February 2009

High blood pressure is a serious illness.

High blood pressure is often called a "silent killer" because many people have it but do not know it. Some people do not feel sick at first. Over time, people who do not get treated for high blood pressure can get very sick or even die.

High blood pressure can cause:

There is good news.

There are life-saving medicines people can take every day to help control their high blood pressure. People who eat healthy foods, exercise, and take their medicines every day can control their blood pressure.

Take your blood pressure medicines.

It is important to take your blood pressure medicines every day. Take your medicines even when your blood pressure comes down ? even when you do not feel bad. Do not stop taking your medicine until your doctor says that it is OK.

Most people who take high blood pressure medicines do not get any side effects. Like all medicines, high blood pressure medicines can sometimes cause side effects. Some people have common problems like headaches, dizziness or an upset stomach. These problems are small compared to what could happen if you do not take your medicine.

Understanding your blood pressure -- What do the numbers mean?

When you have your blood pressure taken, you are told 2 numbers, like 120/80. Both numbers are important.

The first number is your pressure when your heart beats (systolic pressure).

The second number is your pressure when your heart relaxes (diastolic pressure).

High Blood Pressure Medicines

Use this guide to help you talk to your doctor about your blood pressure medicines. Ask your doctor about the risks of taking your medicine. This guide only talks about some of the risks.Tell your doctor about any problems you are having. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing or planning to get pregnant. Your doctor will help you find the medicine that is best for you.

The different kinds of blood pressure medicines are listed below. The drugs are listed in groups. The brand names and generic names are given for the drugs in each group.Find your drug. Then read some basic information about your kind of drug.

Types of High Blood Pressure Medicines

Angiotension-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Brand Name Generic Name
Aceon Perindopril
Accupril Quinapril
Altace Ramipril
Capoten Captopril
Lotensin Benazepril
Mavik Trandolapril
Monopril Fosinopril
Prinivil Lisinopril
Univasc Moexipril
Vasotec Enalapril
Vasotec IV Enalaprilat
Zestril Lisinopril

ACE Inhibitors: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Beta Blockers

Brand Name Generic Name
Bystolic Nebivolol
  Timolol
Coreg Carvedilol
Corgard Nadolol
Inderal Propranolol
Inderal LA Propranolol
Kerlone Betaxolol
Levatol Penbutolol
Lopressor Metoprolol
Sectral Acebutolol
Tenormin Atenolol
Toprol XL Metoprolol
Trandate Labetalol
Visken Pindolol
Zebeta Bisoprolol

Beta-Blockers: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Brand Name Generic Name
Norvasc Amlodipine
Cleviprex Clevidipine
Cardizem Diltiazem
Dilacor XR Diltiazem
Tiazac Diltiazem
Plendil Felodipine
DynaCirc CR Isradipine
Cardene Nicardipine
Adalat CC Nifedipine
Procardia Nifedipine
Nimotop Nimodipine
Sular Nisoldipine
Calan Verapamil
Covera HS Verapamil
Isoptin Verapamil
Verelan Verapamil

Calcium Channel Blockers: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Peripherally Acting Alpha-Adrenergic Blockers

Brand Name Generic Name
Cardura Doxazosin
Dibenzyline Phenoxybenzamine
Minipress Prazosin
Hytrin Terazosin

Peripherally Acting Alpha-Adrenergic Blockers: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Vasodilators

Brand Name Generic Name
  Hydralazine
Loniten Minoxidil

Vasodilators: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Angiotension II Antagonists

Brand Name Generic Name
Atacand Candesartan
Avapro Irbesartan
Benicar Olmesartan
Cozaar Losartan
Diovan Valsartan
Micardis Telmisartan
Teveten Eprosartan

Angiotension II Antagonists: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Centrally-Acting Alpha Adrenergics

Brand Name Generic Name
Catapres Clonidine
Tenex Guanfacine

Centrally-Acting Alpha Adrenergics: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Combination Medicines

Brand Name Generic Name
Diovan HCT Hydrochlorothiazide
and
Valsartan
Exforge Amlodipine
and
Valsartan
Hyzaar Hydrochlorothiazide
and
Losartan
Lexxel Enalapril
and
Felodipine
Lotrel Benazepril
and
Amlodipine
Tarka Verapamil
and
Trandolapril

Combination Drugs: What You Should Know

Warnings and Side Effects

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Other Combination Medicines

Brand Name Generic Name
Caduet Amlodipine and Atorvastatin

Caduet is used to treat people who have both high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

Diuretics (sometimes called "water pills")

Brand Name Generic Name
Aldactazide
Aldactone
Spironolactone
Demadex Torsemide
Diuril Chlorothiazide
Enduron Methyclothiazide
Esidrix
Microzide
Oretic
Hydrochlorothiazide
Lasix Furosemide
Lozol Indapamide
Saluron Hydroflumethiazide
Thalitone Chlorthalidone
Zaroxolyn Metolazone

Diuretics: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Renin Inhibitors

Brand Name Generic Name
Tekturna Aliskiren

Renin Inhibitors: What You Should Know

Warnings

Common Side Effects

Warning Signs

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:

For more information about the risks and side effects for each drug, check Drugs@FDA.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

To Learn More

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Health Information Center
www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/index.htm#hbp
Phone: 301-592-8573
TTY: 240-629-3255

Federal Relay Service:1-800-877-8339

This information reflects FDA's current analysis of data available to FDA concerning these products. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.

For the most recent information about each drug, check Drugs@FDA.




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