Antihypertensive drugs, which act to reduce blood pressure, areused to treat hypertension, a disorder characterized by elevation in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or both.
Treatment for hypertension typically begins with a thiazide diuret-ic or a calcium channel blocker. (For more information, see “Cal-cium channel blockers,”) The patient may also receive a beta-adrenergic antagonist, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, or an angiotensin II receptor blocker. The choice of these drugs depends on whether the patient has a compelling indi-cation, such as heart failure, history of an MI, high risk of coro-nary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. (See “Beta-adrenergic antagonists,”)
Other drugs used to treat hypertension include
sympatholytic drugs (other than beta-adrenergic blockers), and vasodilators. At
times, a combination of drugs may be used.