ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, work by blocking the enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow. By blocking this enzyme, ACE inhibitors help to relax and widen blood vessels, reducing blood pressure. Common ACE inhibitors include lisinopril, enalapril, and ramipril.
Calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers block the influx of calcium into the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and the heart, which relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Common calcium channel blockers include amlodipine, diltiazem, and verapamil.
Diuretics, also known as water pills, work by increasing urine output, which reduces the volume of blood and decreases blood pressure. There are several types of diuretics, including thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, and potassium-sparing diuretics. Common diuretics include hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, and spironolactone.
Beta-blockers block the action of adrenaline on the heart and blood vessels, which reduces the heart rate and decreases blood pressure. They also reduce the workload on the heart, which can be beneficial for people with heart disease. Common beta-blockers include metoprolol, atenolol, and propranolol.
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
ARBs, or angiotensin II receptor blockers, work by blocking the action of angiotensin II on blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure. They are similar to ACE inhibitors but work at a different stage in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Common ARBs include losartan, valsartan, and irbesartan.
- Mayo Clinic. (2022). High blood pressure (hypertension): Medications. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure-medication/art-20046280
- American Heart Association. (2022). Types of Blood Pressure Medications. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/types-of-blood-pressure-medications