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Vasodilator Medicines

What are vasodilators used for?

Vasodilators are a group of medicines used to lower blood pressure and treat other conditions. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and can weaken the blood vessels and damage other organs, like your eyes or kidneys. If it is not treated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.

Changes in diet and exercise may also lower your blood pressure. You may need one or more types of medicine if diet and exercise alone don’t help lower your blood pressure.

There are several different vasodilators. Which vasodilator is best for you depends on your condition and health.

How do they work?

Vasodilators relax and open up blood vessels. This makes it easier for blood to flow through the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. When blood pressure is lower, the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood to the rest of the body. Lowering blood pressure helps prevent heart attack and stroke. It also makes it easier to treat heart failure.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

  • Follow the directions that come with your medicine, including information about food or alcohol. Make sure you know how and when to take your medicine. Do not take more or less than you are supposed to take.
  • Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if you have side effects.
  • Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at the same place. Your pharmacist can help make sure that all of your medicines are safe to take together.
  • Keep a list of your medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all of the products you are taking.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-02-02
Last reviewed: 2014-01-25
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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