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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Vasodilators

Read more about Vasodilators.


Vasodilators help treat some cases of congestive heart failure (CHF) by reducing the heart's workload.

Common names include:

  • Isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil)
  • Nesiritide (Natrecor)
  • Hydralazine (Apresoline)
  • Nitrate drugs
  • Minoxidil

Effect of Vasodilators on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

People with congestive heart failoure often have blood vessels that are constricted, which causes the heart to work harder pumping blood through the vessels. Vasodilators help address this problem by enlarging (dilating) blood vessels.

Side Effects and Warnings

Possible side effects of vasodilators include:

  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • Fast pulse, racing heart or palpitations (tachycardia)
  • Flushing of face and neck
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Fluid retention