Home / Pharmaceuticals / Side Effects of Hydralazine

Side Effects of Hydralazine

Hydrazaline is a muscle relaxant which is prescribed for people with high blood pressure (hypertension), relaxing and therefore loosening arteries and thus lowering blood pressure. It is in many cases not the preferred choice for treating high blood pressure, because it can increase heart rate and potentially contribute to angina or even heart attacks; however, it is an important method of reducing serious high blood pressure.

Common symptoms include diarrhea, high heart rate (tachycardia), headache, appetite problems and nausea, and when taken for lengthy periods of time, drug-induced lupus.

Hydrazaline is marketed under the brand name Apresoline, but is also produced by generic pharmaceutical companies. It is usually taken as an oral tablet two to four times per day, but it is important to discuss and understand your specific prescription with your doctor and pharmacist, and to take it according to their specific instructions.

Several side effects of hydralazine are relatively mild or common, but if they are particularly serious or if they persist, you should consider informing your doctor to ensure that your treatment does not need adjustment. These include a warm feeling or flushing, headache, tearing up, a stuffy nose, and digestive problems – loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and potentially constipation or diarrhea.

However, some other side effects of hydrazaline are potentially much more serious. You should contact your doctor immediately if you faint, begin experiencing serious joint or muscle pain, have a pounding or a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), develop chest pain, or have swelling or tingling in the hands and feet. You should also notify your doctor if you develop a skin rash after beginning treatment.

Liver problems and allergic reactions are not common side effects of hydralazine. However, you should seek medical attention promptly – and may need to discontinue treatment – if you develop hives, swelling in the face or throat, or difficulty breathing.

In addition, hydralazine is one of several medications which is known to put people at risk of developing an autoimmune condition, known as disease-induced lupus erythematosus, after lengthy treatment. About one in twenty long-term hydralazine users will develop this condition, of which the symptoms are joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and heart and lung inflammation. Autoimmune conditions are very serious, and it is important to identify drug-induced lupus (DIL) promptly and, under medical advice, discontinue treatment so that the condition will subside.

This list of side effects is a general guide based on available sources. It should never be substituted for professional medical advice on medication, from both your doctor and your pharmacist.

– Sources and Further Reading –

Canada.com. “Hydralazine – Uses, Side Effects, Interactions.”

National Institutes of Health. “Hydrazaline: MedlinePlus Drug Information.”

University of Michigan Health System. “Hydralazine for High Blood Pressure.”