Do direct vasodilators have any side effects?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Direct vasodilators can cause extremely low blood pressure. This can result in dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting. Other side effects may include rapid heartbeat, chest pain, weight gain, and swelling of the legs and ankles. Minoxidil can cause serious heart problems.

Side effects of hydralazine also may include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and joint pain. Side effects of minoxidil may include thickening of body hair, changes in skin pigmentation, breast enlargement in men, short menstrual cycles in women, and worsening of heart failure.

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