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Discharge Instructions: Taking Vasodilators

Your doctor prescribed a vasodilator for you. These medications treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. They work by relaxing your blood vessels. This allows blood to flow more easily and lowers your blood pressure.

Home Care

The name of your vasodilator is  


  • Follow the fact sheet that came with your medication. It tells you when and how to take your medication. Ask for a sheet if you didn’t get one.

  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications or herbal remedies.

  • Don’t eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.

  • Take your medication exactly as directed.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Chest, muscle, or joint pain

  • Pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hands or feet

  • Swollen feet, lower legs, or lymph nodes

  • Bloating

  • Fever and sore throat

  • Weakness

  • Skin rash or redness, itching, or blisters; or unusual changes in the way your skin looks

  • Constipation

  • Dizziness or light-headedness

Side Effects

Tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects. Don’t stop taking the medication until your doctor tells you to. Mild side effects include the following:

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Loss of appetite








Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2/26/2014
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