Human Body Section
Stedman's Pocket Medical Dictionary Dictionary of Biomedical Sciences Dictionary of Dentistry

The word vasodilator refers to therapeutic agents - including natural substances such as herbs, oils, or essences, or conventional pharmaceutical drugs, that dilate, that is - increase the diameter of - blood vessels.

Increasing the diameter of blood vessels leads to an increase in blood flow around the body, hence vasodilators are sometimes used to reduce the blood pressure of patients who have hypertension (high blood pressure - see lifestyle factors and hypertension).

Related terms:

  • A therapeutic agent that increases blood pressure is called a hypertensive.
  • A therapeutic agent that reduces (lowers) blood pressure is called a hypotensive.

Stedman's Pocket Medical Dictionary Illustrated Dictionary of Midwifery Dictionary of Biomedical Sciences Dictionary of Dentistry

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