Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Vasodilators treat a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure. Find out more about this class of medication.
Subscribe to our Heart-Healthy Living e-newsletter to stay up to date on heart-health topics.
Vasodilators are medications that open (dilate) blood vessels. They affect the muscles in the walls of your arteries and veins, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls from narrowing.
As a result, blood flows more easily through your vessels. Your heart doesn't have to pump as hard, reducing your blood pressure.
Some drugs used to treat hypertension, such as calcium channel blockers — which prevent calcium from entering blood vessel walls — also dilate blood vessels. But the vasodilators that work directly on the vessel walls are hydralazine and minoxidil.
Doctors prescribe vasodilators to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not for profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.