The top three most commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs can be easily remembered through the mnemonic ABC – ACE inhibitors (end in PRIL), Beta blockers (end in OLOL) and Calcium Antagonists (end in PINE except diltiazem and verapamil).
“ ACE Inhibitors- How do they work? Angiotensin II is a very potent chemical that causes the blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing the vessels. This increases the pressure within the vessels causing high blood pressure (hypertension).
Calcium Antagonists are anti-hypertensive drugs that act by disrupting the movement of calcium through calcium channels to decrease contractility and conductivity of the heart thereby reducing oxygen demand and blood pressure.