What is the Most Popular Medication for High Blood Pressure?

What is the Most Popular Medication for High Blood Pressure – Overview

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure (hypertension) affects nearly half of adults in the United States. This condition exerts excessive force on the arteries as blood is pumped through them, damaging the blood vessels and the connected organs that are forced to bear excessive stress.

Blood pressure is measured using two parameters: systolic and diastolic pressures. These parameters help measure the maximum pressure exerted on the arteries and the minimum pressure during cardiac contraction, respectively.

For adults, a normal systolic blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg, and a normal diastolic blood pressure is less than 80 mm Hg, according to the American Heart Association.

What Are the Most Common Medications for High Blood Pressure?

As of the latest data, the most commonly prescribed classes of high blood pressure medications include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics. Specific medication popularity can vary over time and by region

Popular medications for high blood pressure often include lisinopril (an ACE inhibitor), amlodipine besylate (a calcium channel blocker), and hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic). Specific prescriptions can vary based on individual health profiles

Which Is the Best Medication for High Blood Pressure?

This question is subjective, as the effectiveness of high blood pressure medicines usually depends on several factors. For instance, doctors consider the patient’s overall health status, age, ethnicity, gender and if they have any co-existing medical problems or sensitivity to specific medications.

So, if a patient with asthma suffers from hypertension, doctors will normally avoid prescribing beta-blockers, as these medicines can aggravate the respiratory condition.

In the same way, for patients who are vulnerable to constipation (such as elderly patients), doctors will usually avoid prescribing calcium channel blockers and diuretics as these drugs can inhibit proper bowel movement.

African-American patients may respond differently to certain antihypertensive medications, and treatment recommendations can include calcium channel blockers and thiazide diuretics, according to the American Heart Association guidelines.

List of Popular High Blood Pressure Medicines in the US

High blood pressure medications are classified into 1 of 10 classifications, such as:

1. Beta-blockers

2. Diuretic

3. Angiotensin II receptor blockers

4. ACE inhibitors

5. Calcium channel blockers

Each of these medications works differently to lower high blood pressure in patients. Let’s take a detailed look at these different types of popular medications for high blood pressure:


Diuretics work to increase urination, which, in turn, reduces sodium and fluid in the body. This helps to lower blood pressure as it decreases the blood volume in blood vessels. These medications are ideal for treating mild hypertension alone, but they are often combined with other high blood pressure medicines.

Some of the popular examples of diuretic high-blood pressure medications include:

  • Bumex (Bumetanide)
  • Hygroton (Chlorothalidone)
  • Diuril (Chlorothiazine )
  • Edecrin (Ethacrynate)
  • Lasix (Furosemide)
  • Hydrodiuril/Esidrix/Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide/HCTZ)
  • Lozol (Indapamide)
  • Zaroxolyn/Mykroz (Metolazone)
  • Enduron (Methyclothiazide)
  • Demadex (Torsemide)

Diuretics may have side effects, such as loss of potassium, which is otherwise essential for proper muscular movement. A deficiency of potassium in the body may cause the patient to experience leg cramps, weakness, fatigue and even heart problems. Therefore, if a patient is prescribed a diuretic to control high blood pressure, they are also advised to have potassium-rich food to ensure adequate potassium levels in the body.


Beta-blockers work to lower blood pressure by directly acting on the heart. These medications reduce the heartbeat and force of pumping and blood volume in the blood vessels. Some of the most popular beta-blocker hypertension medications include:

  • Sectral (Acebutolol)
  • Tenormin (Atenolol)
  • Coreg (Carvedilol)
  • Zebeta (Bisoprolol fumarate)
  • Brevibloc (Esmolol)
  • Trandate/Normodyne (Labetalol)
  • Lopressor (Metoprolol tartarate)
  • Corgard (Nadolol)
  • Levatol (Penbutolol sulfate)
  • Inderal (Propranolol)
  • Betapace (Sotalol)
  • Ziac (HCTZ+Bisoprolol)

Ace Inhibitors

Angiotensin hormone causes blood vessels to get narrower. The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors lower the production of angiotensin, which helps lower blood pressure. Some of the most popular ACE inhibitors to counter high blood pressure are:

  • Lotensin (Benazepril)
  • Capoten (Captopril)
  • Vasotec (Enalapril Maleate)
  • Monopril (Fosinopril sodium)
  • Zestril/Prinivil (Lisinopril)

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers

Angiotensin, as mentioned above, works to narrow the blood vessels. This is where angiotensin II receptor blockers are helpful. They prevent angiotensin from binding to receptors on the blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure. Some of the most commonly-used angiotensin II receptor blocker medications for treating high blood pressure are:

  • Edarbi (Azilsartan)
  • Atacand (Candesartan)
  • Teveten (Eprosartan mesylate)
  • Avapro (Irbesartan)
  • Cozaar (Losartan Potassium)

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium is necessary to increase the strength and force of heart contractions and blood vessels. Blocking its entry into smooth muscle tissue lowers this effect. Calcium channel blockers relax the blood vessels and reduce your heartbeat rate to control excessively high blood pressure. Some of the most popular calcium channel blocker medications for hypertension include:

  • Lotrel/Norvasc (Almodipine besylate)
  • Tiazac/Dilacor XR/Cardizem SR/Cardizem CD (Diltiazem hydrochloride)
  • Plendil (Felodipine)
  • DynaCirc/DynaCirc CR (Isradipine)
  • Cardene SR (Nicardipine)


ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are generally avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of harm to the developing fetus. Alternative medications are recommended for managing high blood pressure in pregnant women.

Make sure to consult and follow your physician’s instructions diligently to get the most out of your high blood pressure medication.

See Also

What Medications Disqualify You From Donating Blood

Integrative Medicine Training for Physicians

How to Educate Patients About Medications

Do Blood Thinners Decrease Blood Pressure

Do Blood Thinners Decrease Affect Oxygen Levels

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