Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article

Side Effects of High Blood Pressure Medications

Font Size

Any medication can cause side effects, and high blood pressure (HBP) medications are no exception. However, many people do not have side effects from taking hypertension drugs, and often the side effects are mild. Still, it's important to stay informed and work closely with your doctor to manage any side effects you may have. There's no reason to "suffer in silence." Today there are more medication options than ever for managing high blood pressure (hypertension).

This article lists the side effects that may be caused by each type of high blood pressure drug. First, here are four general warnings.

Recommended Related to Hypertension

Atherosclerosis and High Blood Pressure

About one in three adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. More than 90% of adults who survive into their 80s will develop elevated blood pressure -- also called hypertension -- and about 50% of people will have it by age 60. Although high blood pressure is common, it's not harmless. High blood pressure is a major cause of atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging process that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Blood pressure higher than 140/90 is seen in: 69% of people who have their first...

Read the Atherosclerosis and High Blood Pressure article > >

  1. Never stop taking medication without first talking to your doctor. In some cases, this can be very dangerous, causing a big spike in blood pressure.
  2. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about the safest medication to use.ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) can cause harmful side effects for pregnant women and their developing babies.
  3. If you take insulin for diabetes, talk to your doctor. Changes in blood sugar can occur in people with diabetes taking diuretics or beta-blockers for high blood pressure.
  4. If you have problems with erections during sex, talk with your doctor. Some high blood pressure medications can cause this problem. Reducing the dose or changing to another type of medication may help. But high blood pressure itself can also cause erectile dysfunction.

As an informed patient, read about the type of medication you are taking and its possible side effects. You can find a full list on your medication insert. To get you started, here is an overview of the most common side effects of high blood pressure medications.

Medications Used to Treat High Blood Pressure


These high blood pressure medications flush extra water and sodium (salt) from your body. Diuretics may cause these side effects:

  • Extra urination. Extra water out means more time in the bathroom. Take these medications earlier in the day and when you're not far away from a bathroom.
  • Erection problems in some men
  • Weakness, leg cramps, or fatigue. Diuretics may decrease the body's levels of the mineral potassium, which can lead to these side effects. Certain potassium-sparing diuretics do not have this effect, however.
  • Intense and sudden foot pain, which is a symptom of gout; this is rare.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
heart healthy living
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
Compressed heart
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
Heart Foods Slideshow
Low Blood Pressure