Guide to Blood Pressure Medication

There are many different high blood pressure medications available, each with their pros and cons.  Read on to learn which may be right for you.


A medicine to lower blood pressure is often recommended if your blood pressure is consistently high, usually at or above 140/90, but sometimes will be recommended at a lower blood pressure, especially if you have coronary heart disease, have had a stroke, have peripheral artery disease), diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.


Your doctor might prescribe more than one type of medication to treat your condition. You may need to try different medicines until you and your doctor find the best one or combination of medicines that work for you. 


Some of the most common medications used to lower blood pressure include:


  • Beta-blockers: This type of medication makes your heart beat slower and with less force. It also blocks certain hormones in your body that can raise your blood pressure.

  • Diuretics: Also commonly referred to as water pills, this medication helps reduce the sodium levels and excess fluid in your body, which helps reduce your blood pressure. 

  • ACE inhibitors: This medication helps your blood vessels relax to help reduce your blood pressure.

  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): This is another medication that also helps relax vessels to lower blood pressure.

  • Calcium channel blockers: These medications block some of the calcium from entering the cardiac muscles of your heart, meaning less forceful heartbeats. This medicine also causes blood vessels to relax to further lower blood pressure.

  • Alpha-2 agonists: This type of medication changes the nerve impulses that cause blood vessels to tighten. This medication also helps blood vessels to relax, which reduces blood pressure.


Taking your medications as prescribed, monitoring your blood pressure and most importantly, making healthy lifestyle changes, can help you reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.