Several types of medications are used to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. These medications are classified as antihypertensives, says the American Heart Association.
All antihypertensives work to reduce blood pressure, but each type of drug works in a different way, notes the American Heart Association. Diuretics lower blood pressure by eliminating excess sodium from the body. Beat-blockers increase blood output and reduce heart rate, reducing the workload of the heart. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the effects of an enzyme that causes the blood vessels to narrow. As a result, the blood vessels stay open, reducing the amount of force necessary to pump blood. Calcium channel blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers, alpha blockers and vasodilators are also used to lower blood pressure.
Not all hypertensive drugs work for every person with high blood pressure. Some people have a condition called resistant hypertension, or high blood pressure that is not controlled with three blood pressure medications taken in optimal doses. A person with resistant high blood pressure should be seen by a specialist, as recommended by the Cleveland Clinic.