Hydralazine is a direct-acting vasodilator that is used as an antihypertensive agent. Hydralazine works by relaxing blood vessels (arterioles more than venules) and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload. It also functions as an antioxidant. It inhibits membrane-bound enzymes that form reactive oxygen species, such as superoxides. Excessive superoxide counteracts NO-induced vasodilation. Hydralazine is used for the treatment of essential hypertension, alone or as an adjunct. Also for the management of severe hypertension when the drug cannot be given orally or when blood pressure must be lowered immediately, congestive heart failure (in combination with cardiac glycosides and diuretics and/or with isosorbide dinitrate), and hypertension secondary to pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. NCATS
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