Although there are documented differences between women and men in frequency and severity of hypertension and in the relation between hypertension and cardiovascular risk, few studies have been designed to evaluate efficacy and safety of antihypertensive therapy in women. Efficacy of nonpharmacologic interventions to lower blood pressure may differ between the sexes; women have greater difficulty losing weight than men but may respond better than men to dietary sodium reduction. In general, women and men do not respond differently to antihypertensive therapy; however, there may be differences in response to certain classes of antihypertensives. There are limited data on safety of specific antihypertensive agents in women. In some studies, researchers found a greater incidence of adverse effects in women. Effects on sexual functioning and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of antihypertensive drugs in women have been studied inadequately. More data are needed to guide the management of hypertension in women.