Text Size:   A- A A+  | Colour Scheme:  hivis reset
The largest kidney patient charity in the UK. Run by kidney patients, for kidney patients.

Click to donate to the NKF
https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/images/DonateButton.png   or  
WARNING - Review of this information is overdue. It may be out of date.

Blood Pressure Tablets

Click Here for our PDF leaflet

There are many tablets available to bring your blood pressure down. Different people respond better to different sorts. Your doctor will have chosen the type of tablet most suitable for you. A combination of a few tablets is often needed to have the effect wanted. You may not feel unwell with high blood pressure, but it can cause other health problems and cause damage to your kidney, so it is important to continue taking your tablets. If you experience side effects, then you should speak to your doctor. The tablets listed below are ones commonly used. If you are taking a tablet not listed and would like more information then you can speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Calcium channel blockers

AMLODIPINE is usually taken once a day in the morning. Side effects can include headache, dizziness, and ankle swelling.

NIFEDIPINE can be taken once or twice a day. You should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice for one hour before taking nifedipine. Side effects can include headache, flushing and ankle swelling. Nifedipine comes as different forms of tablets or capsules. Please follow the directions for the type given to you and always try to stick to the same brand.

Other types of calcium channel blockers include felodipine and lercanidipine.


Beta blockers

ATENOLOL is usually taken once a day in the morning. Side effects can include tiredness and cold hands and feet. It is usually taken once a day.

Other types of beta blockers include bisoprolol and metoprolol.


Alpha blockers

DOXAZOSIN (Cardura) is taken once or twice a day. Side effects can include dizziness, headache, feeling sick. If this happens try taking with food. The long acting preparation (Cardura XL) is only taken once daily.

Other types of alpha blockers include indoramin and prazosin.


ACE inhibitors

ENALAPRIL (Innovace) is usually taken once or twice a day. Side effects can include fatigue, feeling sick. If this happens try taking with food. Sometimes you may get a dry cough, if this occurs tell your doctor who may be able to consider an alternative for you.

LISINOPRIL, PERINDOPRIL (Coversyl) and RAMIPRIL (Tritace) are usually taken once a day in the evening. Side effects can include tiredness and feeling sick. If this happens try taking it with food. Sometimes you may get a dry cough; if this occurs, tell your doctor who may be able to consider an alternative for you.


Angiotensin antagonists

LOSARTAN  is usually taken once daily. It is an alternative to an ACE inhibitor (see above, and the two should not be taken together. Side effects are usually mild but can include tiredness, dizziness and stomach upsets.

Other types of angiotensin antagonists include valsartan, irbesartan and candesartan.

Rarely, some people can get allergic reactions to angiotensin antagonists. This may include itching, a rash or swelling of the lips and face. If this happens you should stop taking your tablet and speak to your doctor.

 


Other blood pressure tablets include:

HYDRALAZINE is sometimes used when your blood pressure is still high after a combination of other tablets. Side effects can include a build up of fluid in your system (fluid retention).

ALISKERIN is a new drug that is sometimes used instead of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin antagonists. Side effects can include an upset stomach and rash.

MOXONIDINE is sometimes used when your blood pressure is still high after a combination of other tablets. Side effects can include tiredness, headache and dry mouth.


The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 81: Blood Pressure Tablets written: 22/04/2000 last reviewed: 16/03/2015