A variety of medicines are available to treat high blood pressure and they are categorized into different classes or groups, depending on how they work. These medicines are listed by groups with brand names and their generic names according to information from the Food and Drug Administration. The listed medicines represent commonly prescribed medicines to lower blood pressure as reported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association .
Diuretics or Water Pills
According to the American Heart Association, diuretics lower blood pressure by taking out excess water and sodium from the body through the kidneys. Several kinds of diuretics are marketed, including thiazide, loop, potassium-sparing and aldosterone blockers, according to the NIH.
Brand names of thiazide diuretics include Diuril, or chlorothiazide; Esidrix, or hydrochlorothiazide; HydroDiuril, or hydrochlorothiazide; Hygroton, or chlorthalidone; Lozol, or indapamide; Microzide, or hydrochlorothiazide; Mykrox, or metolazone; Renese, or polythiazide; and Zaroxolyn, or metolazone.
Brand loop diuretics consist of Bumex, or bumetanide; Demadex, or torsemide; and Lasix, or furosemide.
The potassium-sparing diuretics are marketed as Dyrenium, or triamterene; and Midamor, or amiloride.
The aldosterone blocker diuretics include Aldactone, or spironolactone; and Inspra, or eplerenone.
Beta Blockers lower blood pressure by reducing heart rate and the amount of blood that the heart pumps which decreases the work of the heart and lowers blood pressure, says the American Heart Association.
Brand names of beta blockers include Betapace or solotol; Blocadren or timolol; Cartrol, or carteolol; Corgard, or nadolol; Inderal, or propranolol; Inderal LA, or propranolol long-acting; Kerlone, or betaxolol; Levatol, or penbutolol; Lopressor, or metoprolol; Sectral, or acebutolol; Tenormin, or atenolol; Toprol XL, or metoprolol extended release; Visken, or pindolol; and Zebeta, or bisoprolol.
A subgroup of beta blockers that also have the added actions of alpha blockade are Coreg, or carvedilol; Normodyne, or labetalol; and Trandate, or labetalol.
The combination of a beta-blocker and a thiazide diuretic is available as Ziac, or bisoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide.
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors or ACEIs
The American Heart Association reports that ACEIs lower blood pressure by preventing the creation of a natural substance called angiotensin II which causes blood vessels to contract and raise blood pressure.
Brand names of available ACEIs include Accupril, or quinapril; Aceon, or perindopril; Altace, or ramipril; Capoten, or captopril; Lotensin, or benazepril; Mavik, or trandolapril; Monopril, or fosinopril; Prinivil, or lisinopril; Uniretic, or moexipril; Univasc, or moexipril; Vasotec, or enalapril; and Zestril, or lisinopril.
Angiotensin II Antagonists
According to the American Heart Association, angiotensin II antagonists act by preventing the natural substance angiotensin II from acting which results in the opening of blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
The available brands of angiotensin II antagonist medications include Atacand, or candesartan; Avapro, or irbesartan; Benicar, or olmesartan; Cozaar, or losartan; Diovan, or valsartan; Micardis, or telmisartan; and Teveten, or eprosartan.
Calcium Channel Blockers or CCBs
The calcium channel blockers work by preventing calcium from entering the muscle of blood vessels which results in opening of blood vessels and lowered blood pressure, says the American Heart Association.
Brand medications in the CCB category consist of Cardene SR, or nicardipine; Dynacirc CR, or isradipine; Lotrel, or amlodipine; Norvasc, or amlodipine; Plendil, or felodipine; Sular, or nisoldipine; and Vasocor, or bepridil.
Extended release diltiazem is available as Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cardizem SR, Dilacor XR, and Tiazac. Brand names for Nifedipine include Adalat, Adalat CC, Procardia, and Procardia XL. Verapamil is marketed as Calan, Calan SR, Covera HS, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Verelan, and Verelan PM.
Miscellaneous Antihypertensive Medications
Other types of medicines used to treat high blood pressure include alpha blockers, medications acting on the nervous system, and blood vessel dilators, says the American Heart Association, or AHA.
Alpha blockers help to relax the muscle of blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure, reports the AHA. The brand name alpha blocker medications are Cardura, or doxazosin; Hytrin, or terazosin; and Minipress, or prazosin.
The AHA states that medicines acting on the nervous system lower blood pressure by blocking signals from the brain that would cause tightening of blood vessels. These medicines include Aldomet, or alpha methyldopa; Catapres, or clonidine; Catapres-TTS, or clonidine patch; Tenex, or guanfacine; and Wytensin, or guanabenz.
According to the AHA, blood vessel dilators lower blood pressure by directly relaxing the muscle of blood vessels and allowing them to open more. These medicines consist of Apresoline, or hydralazine; and Loniten, or minoxidil.