High blood pressure drug side effects: What you need to know

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common health condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Treatment of hypertension often involves medication, which helps to lower blood pressure and prevent complications such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease.

However, like any medication, antihypertensive drugs can have side effects. This study review aims to provide an overview of the side effects associated with high blood pressure medication.

Types of High Blood Pressure Medication and Their Side Effects

There are several classes of medications used to treat high blood pressure, including diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and calcium channel blockers.

Each class of medication works differently and has different potential side effects.


Diuretics are medications that increase the production of urine, thereby reducing the amount of fluid in the body and lowering blood pressure.

Common diuretics include hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide. Side effects of diuretics include:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances (such as low levels of potassium, sodium, or magnesium)
  • Increased urination
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Muscle cramps


Beta-blockers work by reducing the heart rate and the force of the heart’s contractions, which lowers blood pressure.

Common beta-blockers include metoprolol and propranolol. Side effects of beta-blockers include:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors work by blocking the action of a hormone that narrows blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Common ACE inhibitors include lisinopril and ramipril. Side effects of ACE inhibitors include:

  • Dry cough
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
  • Low blood pressure


ARBs work similarly to ACE inhibitors, but they block a different hormone that narrows blood vessels. Common ARBs include losartan and valsartan. Side effects of ARBs include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Low blood pressure

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers work by relaxing the muscles of blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Common calcium channel blockers include amlodipine and verapamil. Side effects of calcium channel blockers include:

  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure


High blood pressure medication can effectively lower blood pressure and prevent complications associated with hypertension.

However, medication can also cause side effects that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.

It is important to discuss any potential side effects with a healthcare provider and to weigh the benefits and risks of medication before starting treatment.

In some cases, natural remedies and lifestyle changes may be effective in managing high blood pressure and reducing the need for medication.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about a safe and more effective way to treat high blood pressure, and many people with high blood pressure may take a drug making it worse.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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