Skip to content

    Heart Failure Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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

    Edema Overview

    Edema is the medical term for swelling. Body parts swell from injury or inflammation. It can affect a small area or the entire body. Medications, infections, pregnancy, and many other medical problems can cause edema. Edema happens when your small blood vessels become "leaky" and release fluid into nearby tissues. That extra fluid builds up, which makes the tissue swell.

    Read the Edema Overview 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
    Article
    Salt Shockers
    Slideshow
     
    Inside A Heart Attack
    Slideshow
    lowering blood pressure
    SLIDESHOW
     

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

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

    WebMD Special Sections