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Blood Pressure Medication and the Side Effects

Medications have come a long way in their ability to help people get healthier and live longer. High blood pressure medications can help keep serious heart problems at bay and increase blood flow. However, knowing blood pressure medication side effects can be just as critical to know as the benefits of them.

Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects

Blood pressure medication side effects will vary from person to person in degree and by symptoms. It may be daunting to hear a voice-over in a commercial lay out all the possible side effects, but that doesn’t mean all of them will occur at once or at all.

There are a few different types of blood pressure medications that are the most commonly used. Depending on your health and needs, your doctor will prescribe the one that he/she deems most suited for you.

Different medications will have differing side effects as well since they each do something slightly different than the other.

Different Types of Medication



Diuretics are referred to as “water pills” because they help your body remove excess water and sodium. They can also increase the production of urination to help the process. Too much sodium can cause kidney and heart damage and diuretics help the kidneys break it down.

Potential side effects of diuretics:

  • Muscle Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Leg Cramps
  • Gout
  • Impotence
  • Increase blood sugar for diabetes patients


Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers are another commonly prescribed blood pressure medication. It helps to do as it says–block calcium from entering the muscle cells of the arteries and heart. Calcium buildup can create serious heart problems like heart attack and heart failure.

This happens because calcium can inhibit blood flow and causes the heart to beat faster and harder. Calcium channel blockers help to lower blood pressure, dilate blood vessels, and decreases your heartbeat to a normal speed.

Potential side effects of calcium channel blockers:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Swollen ankles
  • Constipation
  • Heart Palpitations

Blood Vessel Dilator

Blood vessel dilator medications help to relax blood vessels and dilate them. Doing so helps more blood to pass through and decrease blood pressure.

Potential side effects of blood vessel dilators:

  • Pain in joints
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Fluid Retention
  • *Cannot Take When Pregnant

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE)

ACE Inhibitors are used to inhibit the amount of angiotensin produced in the blood vessels since too much causes the arteries to narrow and slow blood flow. This way blood vessels can relax and blood pressure can lower.

ACE Inhibitors have a different list of side effects than other blood pressure medications:

  • Chronic Coughing
  • Loss of Taste
  • Possible Kidney Damage
  • Skin Rashes and Dryness
  • *Cannot Take When Pregnant

How to Know if You Are Experiencing Side Effects

Generally, side effects are easy to spot because they’ll be out of the norm from what you normally experience.

Your body may feel off, you may feel dizzy, nauseated, hot, or feel like is beating irregularly. If these occur, be sure to contact your doctor or go to the emergency room if necessary.

Many times, blood pressure medication side effects may not be serious. However, because they deal with your blood flow and heart, take notice if anything seems off.

Be sure to take your medication as the doctor instructs. Otherwise, it may not work as well or cause undesired side effects.



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