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- What is hydralazine-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for hydralazine-oral?
- Is hydralazine-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for hydralazine-oral?
- What are the uses for hydralazine-oral?
- What are the side effects of hydralazine-oral?
- What is the dosage for hydralazine-oral?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with hydralazine-oral?
- Is hydralazine-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about hydralazine-oral?
What is hydralazine-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Hydralazine (Apresoline) is an antihypertensive medication used to treat high blood pressure. It is a peripheral arterial vasodilator and causes relaxation of blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart and towards the organs and tissues. The exact mechanism of how hydralazine causes arterial smooth muscle relaxation is not yet understood. Hydrazine affects calcium movement within blood vessels. Calcium is required for muscle contraction and therefore disturbances in calcium movement may cause smooth muscle relaxation in the blood vessels. Hydralazine is selective for arterioles (small arteries), and the overall effects of treatment include a decrease in arterial blood pressure, and peripheral vascular resistance.
In addition to treating high blood pressure, hydralazine has shown to be beneficial for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF). Although ACE inhibitors are preferred for the treatment of CHF, hydralazine in combination with isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Isordil Titradose, Dilatrate-SR) is an alternative for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors.
Hydralazine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1952 as an antihypertensive agent. It is commonly used for the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy. Parenteral or injectable hydralazine is used to treat hypertensive emergencies (severally high blood pressure) during pregnancy.
What are the uses for hydralazine-oral?
Hydralazine is used for the treatment of essential hypertension (high blood pressure), alone or in-combination with other anti-hypertensive medications. It is also used for treating hypertensive crisis and congestive heart failure.
What are the side effects of hydralazine-oral?
Common side effects of hydralazine are:
- tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), and
- angina pectoris (chest pain).
Other less commonly reported side effects include:
- paralytic ileus,
- low blood pressure,
- paradoxical pressor response,
- dyspnea (shortness of breath),
- peripheral neuritis,
- muscle cramps,
- psychotic reactions,
- difficulty urinating,
- blood disorders,
- hypersensitivity type reactions,
- nasal congestion,
- abnormal tear production (lacrimation) , and
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
What is the dosage for hydralazine-oral?
Hypertension in adult patients:
- Start treatment at a low dose and increase gradually based on individual patient response. The usual recommended starting regimen is 10 mg orally four times daily for the first 2 to 4 days, increase to 25 mg four times daily for the remainder of the first week.
- For the second and subsequent weeks, increase dosage to 50 mg four times daily (increase dose by 10-25 mg/dose gradually every 2-5 days).
- The maximum daily dose used in clinical studies is 300 mg.
Congestive heart failure:
- The initial dose for treating heart failure is 10 to 25 mg orally 3 to 4 times daily.
- The usual dose is 225 to 300 mg daily in 3 to 4 divided doses.
For pediatric hypertensive emergencies, the dose is 0.5 mg/Kg IV every 4 hours.
Which drugs or supplements interact with hydralazine-oral?
Sympathomimetics such as:
- dobutamine (Dobutrex),
- dopamine (Intropin),
- norepinephrine (Levophed),
- epinephrine (Adrenalin),
- metaraminol (Aramine),
- phenylephrine, (NeoSynephrine, Neofrin)
- ephedra (Ma Huang), and
- ephedrine may decrease the effectiveness of hydralazine.
Co-administration of these agents may block the anti-hypertensive benefits of hydralazine treatment.
Is hydralazine-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Hydralazine should be used in pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Hydralazine is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category C (Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks). It is used for treating high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Hydralazine is excreted in breast milk. Hydralazine should be used cautiously in females who are breastfeeding if treatment is necessary.
What else should I know about hydralazine-oral?
What preparations of hydralazine-oral are available?
Tablets: 10, 25, 50, 100 mg; Solution for injection: 20 mg/ml
How should I keep hydralazine-oral stored?
Tablets and injection solution may be stored at room temperature between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) OverviewCongestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Heart Disease in WomenHeart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women and health professionals are not aware of the risk factors for heart disease in women and may delay diagnosis and treatment. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, tobacco use, overweight/obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, and depression influence heart disease risk in women. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also increase women's risk of heart disease. Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), stress-ECG, endothelial testing, ankle-brachial index (ABI), echocardiogram, nuclear imaging, electron beam CT, and lab tests to assess blood lipids and biomarkers of inflammation are used to diagnose heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women saves lives. Heart disease can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes.
Heart Disease SlideshowLearn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease diagnostic tests, treatments, and prevention strategies.
Heart Disease QuizTake our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes, symptoms, treatments, testing, and procedures for medically broken hearts.
Heart Disease Treatment in WomenHeart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart Association. Risk factors and symptoms of heart disease in women differ from those in men. Treatment may include lifestyle modification (diet, exercise, weight management, smoking cessation, stress reduction), medications, percutaneous intervention procedure (PCI), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Heart disease is reversible with treatment.
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- fluid and water retention,
- fatigue and weakness, and
- rapid or irregular heartbeats.
There are two types of congestive heart failure, systolic or left-sided heart failure; and diastolic or right-sided heart failure. Treatment, prognosis, and life-expectancy for a person with congestive heart failure depends upon the stage of the disease.
Heart SymptomsHeart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and know the symptoms that may require an immediate trip to the hospital.
Illustrations of the HeartThe muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more about the health topic.
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood PressureWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long term treatments.
Take the HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
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Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems. However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause.
You may experience other signs and symptoms that are associated with night sweats, which depend upon the cause, but may include:
- Fever, shaking, and chills with a fever caused by an infection like the flu or pneumonia.
- Unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma.
- Women in perimenopause or menopause may also have vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes during the day.
- Low blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Other causes of night sweats include:
- Medications like NSAIDs (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), antidepressants, sildenafil (Viagra), and abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and drug withdrawal.
- Hormone disorders like pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis
- Infections like endocarditis, AIDs, and abscesses.
- Alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal
- Drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal
A doctor or other health care professional can treat your night sweats after the cause has been diagnosed.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
Salt Shockers SlideshowSalty Foods can be everywhere. So how can you maintain a low-sodium diet and beware of the risks of high blood pressure which can lead to heart attack and stroke? Discover where high-sodium foods hide on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. Learn to replace high-salt foods with better choices.