This article provides an overview of cardiovascular pharmacology by relating the mechanism of action of different classes of drugs to their effect on the control of the cardiovascular system. It will cover both newer types of drug, and recent advances in the understanding of older drugs. Understanding the mechanism of action of any new drug allows anesthetists to incorporate new drugs into their clinical practice. The cardiovascular system uses a complex series of control mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. These controls utilize multi-layered, inter-related mechanisms which help to minimize system redundancy and duplication. They utilize diverse methods from simple molecular function to principles of fluid dynamics in whole organs. This complexity has led to a diverse array of therapeutic agents being developed which target different areas.