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What are the side effects of medication for high blood pressure?

Answer by:
Robert J. Bryg, MD

Cardiologist, WebMD Medical Expert
UCLA Medical Center, Olive View

As is true with any medication, high blood pressure drugs have side effects. Among the most common are the following:

  • Diuretics: headache, weakness, joint or muscle pain, and low potassium blood levels
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: dry and persistent cough, headache, diarrhea, and high potassium blood levels
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers: fatigue, dizziness or fainting, muscle pain, and diarrhea
  • Calcium channel blockers: dizziness, trouble breathing, heart rhythm problems, and ankle swelling
  • Beta-blockers: dizziness or lightheadedness, decreased sexual drive, drowsiness, and low heart rate