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Vasodilators – Drugs in Hypertension

by Pravin Shukle, MD
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    Let's move on to direct vasodilators for blood pressure control. There is a lot of different drug types that we can talk about. Let's first deal with calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers are divided into two major groups. The dihydropyridines and the non-dihydropyridines. We also have nitrodilators. Now, these are agents that act somehow through nitric oxide. We also have potassium channel openers which are perhaps more interesting from a test or exam point of view than it is from a clinical point of view. And then we have the new dopamine or D2 receptor agonists. These also are going to be interesting from an exam point of view, but from a real world practice point of view, they are not used this often. So, we will go through each of these classes in a little bit more detail now. Let's talk about the direct vasodilators, specifically the calcium channel blockers. And I want to compare and contrast the dihydropyridine class with the non-dihydropyridine class. So, the dihydropyridines refer to nifedipine and amlodipine, the non-dihydropyridines refer to diltiazem and verapamil. You do need to know which drugs go in which class. Now, both of them work on calcium channels. But the dihydropyridine class of drugs tend to work more on the blood vessels in the periphery, whereas the non-dihydropyridine class tend to work on blood vessels and in the heart. So, if you think about it, there's actually going to be some advantages to the non-dihydropyridines, because the dihydropyridines cause reflex tachycardia. So, let's think about that. When you cause a relaxation in the periphery, you drop blood pressure. The heart thinks through its baroreceptor reflex that the body is not getting enough blood, and so it tries to pump faster. That's why you get a reflex tachycardia with...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Vasodilators – Drugs in Hypertension by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course Cardiovascular Pharmacology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Direct Vasodilators
    • Potassium Channel Openers
    • Nitrodilators
    • Peripheral Dopaminergic Antihypertensive Medications

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. include nifedipine and amlodipine.
    2. include verapamil and diltiazem
    3. include verapamil and amlodipine
    4. include nifedipine and verapamil
    1. nifedipine
    2. verapamil
    3. diltiazem
    4. atenolol
    1. increases potassium flux, causing a more positive intracellular environment, which causes reduced calcium-influx-induced contraction.
    2. reduces potassium flux, causing a more positive intracellular environment, which causes reduced calcium-influx-induced contraction.
    3. increases potassium flux, causing a more positive intracellular environment which causes increased calcium-influx and less contraction.
    4. reduces potassium flux, causing a more positive intracellular environment which causes increased calcium-influx and less contraction.
    1. diltiazem
    2. minoxidil
    3. amyl nitrate
    4. nifedipine
    5. hydralazine

    Author of lecture Vasodilators – Drugs in Hypertension

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD


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