Skip to content

    Heart Failure Health Center

    Font Size

    Heart Failure and Blood Vessel Dilators

    Medicines that make your blood vessels get wider are called vasodilators. They’re used to treat heart failure and control high blood pressure because they cause your blood vessels to relax so that all-important fluid can flow more easily through your body.


    Recommended Related to Heart Failure

    Why Are My Lungs Congested?

    Do you get a tightness or heaviness in your chest sometimes? There are a bunch of reasons you might feel this way. You may have a cold, or it could be something more serious. Talk to your doctor to find out what's going on. He'll want to know if you have other symptoms that can help pinpoint your condition.

    Read the Why Are My Lungs Congested? article > >

    Examples of vasodilators include:


    How Should I Take Them?

    Follow the label to find out how often you should take them. Make it at evenly spaced times, with meals, while you are awake.

    The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses, and how long you’ll need to take them will depend on your condition.

    What Side Effects Could I Have?

    Headache ; rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes; loss of appetite; and diarrhea : Your doctor probably will prescribe more medicine to control these. If they linger or are severe, talk to your doctor.

    Upset stomach , flushing of face or neck: Call your doctor if these side effects hang around or get serious.

    If you get any of these, contact your doctor right away:


    Other Guidelines for Vasodilators

    • While taking them, have your blood pressure checked regularly.
    • Keep all appointments with your medical team so they can see if the medicine is working.
    • Don’t drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on January 16, 2015

    Today on WebMD

    Compressed heart
    Salt Shockers
    Inside A Heart Attack
    lowering blood pressure

    Mechanical Heart
    Omega 3 Overview Slideshow
    Atrial Fibrillation Guide
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol

    Compressed heart
    FAQ Heart Failure
    Cholesterol Confusion
    Health Check
    Resolved To Quit Smoking

    WebMD Special Sections