Classify antihypertensive agents by their mechanism of action, with a brief outline of each
mechanism, and an example of a drug in each class.

[Click here to toggle visibility of the answers]

College Answer

There are many valid lists that can be used as a template to answer this question. One such list
might broadly classify antihypertensive agents into sympatholytic agents, vasodilators, calcium
channel antagonists, renin-angiotensin inhibitors and diuretics. Within each of these categories
are a variable number of sub classes, for example diuretics might include thiazides, loop
diuretics and potassium sparing diuretics.
A good answer would include such a listing with a brief description of the mechanism of action
with respect to the antihypertensive effect and the name of a typical drug that acts in the manner
described. Most candidates were able to generate such a list and populate it as required by the
question, thus being rewarded with good marks. Poorer answers lacked any logical
classification system and were merely a random list of antihypertensive drugs and their actions.
Candidates are reminded that organisation within an answer helps in answering the question and
achieving marks.
Syllabus: C2b,2e
References: Berne & Levy, Physiology, Ch 2-3