Drugs used to treat hypotension

Several groups of active substances can raise the blood pressure slightly, can relieve the complaints of low blood pressure and can prevent the dizzy spells. However, all drug-induced therapies may cause undesired actions (such as high blood pressure, for example). For this reason, you should try to reduce the complaints of low blood pressure by non-medicinal measures first of all.

Sympathomimetic agents
Drugs in this group are used most frequently to treat low blood pressure. Similar to the body’s own messengers adrenaline and noradrenaline; they increase the return flow of the blood to the heart and stimulate the heartbeat.
The potential side-effects include, among other things, heart hurry, heart rhythm disorders and bladder emptying disorders. Sympathomimetic agents must not be used in case of coronary heart disease, glaucoma, enlargement of the prostate gland, thyroid hyperfunction, during the first third of pregnancy and in professional sports (positive doping test).
This group includes etilefrine, ameziniummetilsulfate, midodrine, norfenefrine, pholedrine and oxilofrine.

Fludrocortisone is a synthetically produced hormone of the adrenal cortex (mineralocorticoid). In the kidney it prevents the excretion of salt and water, thus causing the blood volume and hence the blood pressure to increase. Fludrocortisone is applied to patients primarily who have circulation problems when standing up and do not develop an increase in pulse for compensation (asympathicoton orthostatic hypotension).

Dihydroergotamine is a so-called vasoconstrictor, which contracts the large veins. This action improves the return flow of the blood to the heart and prevents circulation problems when standing up. For this reason dihydroergotamine is applied primarily in case of sympathicoton orthostatic hypotension, the most frequently circulatory trouble which leads to circulation-induced falls (syncopes).

Erythropoietin (epoietin alpha or epoietin beta) is a hormone which stimulates the maturation of the red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the bone marrow. Erythrocytes ensure the transport of oxygen in the blood. In patients suffering from severe orthostatic hypotension, who do not respond to other drugs, erythropoietin may reduce the complaints.

What is hypotension?