Have you ever wondered what’s going on behind the scenes with your blood pressure medication? Here’s how blood pressure medications work.
Blood pressure medications are grouped into several classes. Each class works in a different way to lower blood pressure.
diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide): This class of medications works by increasing the amount of urine your body produces. This causes the body to lose salt and water, which decreases the volume of the blood, leading to lower blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril): This class of medications works by blocking the body’s production of a substance that tightens the blood vessels. As a result, the blood vessels become more relaxed, and the pressure of the blood inside the vessels decreases.
beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol): These medications work by slowing down the heartbeat and decreasing the strength of each beat. This means blood is pumped through the vessels with less force, which lowers blood pressure.
angiotensin II receptor blockers (e.g., candesartan, losartan, valsartan): This group of medications works in a similar way as the ACE inhibitors. But instead of blocking the production of the blood vessel-tightening substance, it stops the substance from working on the blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and the blood pressure to decrease.