Vasodilators

Vasodilators treat a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure. Find out more about this class of medication. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Vasodilators are medications that open (dilate) blood vessels. They work directly on the muscles in the walls of your arteries, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls from narrowing. As a result, blood flows more easily through your arteries, your heart doesn't have to pump as hard and your blood pressure is reduced. Several vasodilators are available. Which one is best for you depends on your health and the condition being treated.

Uses for vasodilators

Doctors prescribe vasodilators to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy or childbirth (preeclampsia or eclampsia)
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
Jan. 31, 2014 See more In-depth