Home Treatment & Recovery Blood Pressure Drugs - Page 9

Blood Pressure Drugs - Page 9

Central Acting Drugs

Central Acting Drugs

(check with manufacturer for specific information)

Commonly prescribed brands:



Methyldopa chlorothiazide

Methyldopa hydrochlorothiazide

Catapres TTS




How they are given:

  • A skin patch or orally (pill)

What they are used for:

You should not be treated with them if:

  • You should not take methyldopa if you have active liver disease or a liver disorder previously associated with methyldopa therapy; you cannot produce urine; or if you are on MAO inhibitors, a type of antidepressant

Possible side effects:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, anxiety, depression


  • Methylodopa is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy; thiazides may cause some problems in infants but can be used if they are clearly needed
  • The safety of clonidine during pregnancy is unknown
  • The safety of these drugs during nursing is unknown, but it is known that they can enter a woman's breast milk









How do central acting drugs work?
These drugs lower blood pressure by acting in the brain and central nervous system. They reduce the number of nerve signals telling the blood vessels to narrow, thus relaxing the arteries in the legs and arms.

Who should take central acting drugs?
Central acting drugs are not usually the first choice for treating high blood pressure since they do not lower blood pressure as well as other types of medicines and are more likely to have side effects. They are only used after other types of drugs have failed to control a person's blood pressure.

What are the possible side effects of central acting drugs?
The most common side effects include dryness of the mouth and fatigue. Some patients cannot stand these side effects and may have to switch to another drug.

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