Actions and uses:

Antihypertensives are used to control high blood pressure, or HTN. Hypertensives drugs are classified into six categories:
1. Diuretics
2. Sympatholytics (sympathetic depression)
3. Direct acting arteriolar vasodilators
4. ACE inhibitors
5. Angiotension II receptor blockers (ARB’s)
6. Calcium channel blockers.

Side Effects and Adverse reactions

Dizziness, bradycardia, insomnia, and hypotension are the most common side effects. Beta Blockers can cause nightmares and sexual dysfunction. Calcium Channel Blockers can cause flush, edema, and AV Block.

Nursing Implications:

Monitor vital signs. A sudden marked decrease in blood pressure should be reported. Check daily for fluid retention in the lower extremities. Monitor laboratory results, especially BUN, serum creatinine, AST, and LDH. Watch for hypoglycemic reactions in clients with diabetes mellitus.


Kee, J.L., Hayes, E. R., & McCuistion, L.E. (2009). Pharmacology A Nursing Process Approach (6th Edition.) (Pages 657-673) St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier.
Edited by Candice Hester