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Help me learn about blood pressure medications

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  • Help me learn about blood pressure medications

    Last visit to GP, he stated my blood pressure had been up for several visits including that day. Said if it's not down next time it's meds for me. He said there are many different ones with different side effects. Share your knowledge if you can.

  • #2
    I'm one of the ones that people throw up their hands in disgust about

    I take, among others, candesartan and simvastatin.

    Candesartan now which is 3 iteration after FDA had heartburn over Losartan and I forget the first one.

    Been on both of them for years and year with no obvious side effects from either or any of the other meds I take.

    BP is always well controlled and low when I go to Dr for many multitude of checks. I've been going to Drs for so long I don't worry about the 'white coat syndrome' anymore

    Strokes are a potential side effect of some of my health problems and I have absolutely no interest in having a stroke or in beating my kidney to death any sooner than I need to.
    When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.


    • Original Poster



      • #4
        Originally posted by HPFarmette View Post
        Last visit to GP, he stated my blood pressure had been up for several visits including that day. Said if it's not down next time it's meds for me. He said there are many different ones with different side effects. Share your knowledge if you can.
        I would get a bp monitor and use it and keep a record, so you can show your Dr what the real numbers are.

        Mine is high at the Drs, but my records show is a bit low at home, so Drs say all is well.
        This morning reading was 102/62 after coming in from feeding and chores.

        Be sure that your home bp monitor is calibrated properly, some are off a bit.
        We checked mine with the Drs and both were the same.


        • #5
          Bluey good suggestion on taking BP at home. I used to but haven't for many years as every Dr I see takes it (ie, multiple times in a 3 month window) and the white coat syndrome is gone.

          Knowing your individual body's norm is always good; when something changes you know it.

          Mine will read about yours when I'm at the Dr

          I get that meds have side effects. If everyone experienced side effects the med would probably be withdrawn. People with side effects will say something, someone without side effects doesn't. Just the way it is Be alert to what a side effect might be but you also might never experience one.

          I keep my list of meds handy and take that list to every Dr I go to. Depending on what's going on, one may tweak a med another Dr has prescribed but I'll also follow up. Pharmacists may be good at side effects and interactions but not necessarily all the health related issues that *you* may have. I recently had my meds tweaked by one of my specialists due to bloodwork - that's something a pharmacist doesn't have available. It's a total package of healthcare and yes, OP must drive that bus
          When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.


          • #6
            For some weird reason, I have a huge problem with white coat syndrome. I take my BP every morning before I take morning meds, which include two BP drugs along with other stuff that can push it up. I run about 120/65, which should be fine. But when I get into a doctor's office, I can zoom up to 200/100. I've had medical staff want to send me to the ER, and I can understand why they want to. But if they take it again in about 15 minutes, it's back to normal.

            I don't understand why this happens, because I am not anxious in a doctor's office. I practically live in them due to multiple autoimmune conditions and some other stuff thrown in. If I were medicated enough to stop the spikes, I wouldn't be able to function. So I give my morning's reading at each visit, and they usually just shrug it off. One of my previous long term doctors said he thought it was because it was very hard to take my BP--if it's done with a stethoscope, evidently it's very hard to hear.

            My one complaint about BP meds is sexual side effects. I was on something many years ago that totally killed my libido. My doctor didn't understand why I thought that was a big problem, but he was at least willing to acknowledge that it was a big deal to me, and make a change. I've heard that's a common complaint, especially with men. If it happens, there is always another med that can work better.



            • #7
              I agree with those that say to monitor at home. The last couple of times I've been into the doctor, I get ushered into the room, sat down, and my blood pressure taken right away - and it's been high (not crazy high, but might need to go on medication high). So I started taking it at home, where I can sit quietly for a few minutes first, then rest my arm on the arm of the couch as one should - 120/80 range every time.

              I don't think that it's white coat syndrome so much for me (although my last few visits I keep getting bad news) as much as I'm generally rushing around before my appointment - last time I ate lunch, drove the 5 minutes to the clinic, and got to sit down for maybe 2 minutes before I was called to get weighed and BP taken. Not conducive to having a low bp reading!


              • #8
                I also recommend a good home monitor and start a log. Doesn’t have to be every day but do check at different times of day and alternate arms. I have not found 1 doctor that I go to that does it as it should be. Half the time, they don’t use an appropriate cuff. They don’t wait until you have sat and settled for 5 minutes. My Mom’s Dr will check it again himself after we have been there awhile and it is always at least 10 points lower both systolic and diastolic.

                If you start on a medication, hydrochlorothiazide (a mild diuretic) is usually the starting point. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI’s) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB’s) can also be a first step or the first addition if hydrochlorothiazide is not sufficient. Beta blockers are no longer recommended as a first step in treating hypertension.

                It is kind of busy but here is an algorithm that has the newest guidelines.

                As you can see, there are also several lifestyle changes that can be made and as long as you are not in the BP range that commands urgent or emergent attention, you can start with those and hold off on the meds. Yes, meds have side effects but so does HBP—stroke, heart failure, kidney failure just to name a few. If you are truly hypertensive, nothing to mess around with.

                Good luck,
                Susan (R.Ph)


                • #9
                  Your blood pressure has been high during several visits... I am super curious (of course you don't have to answer) did the doctor or nurse ask about or suggest changes in your diet and exercise habits? Or did they go straight to drugs?

                  ... with Patrick and Henry


                  • #10
                    Here are some guidelines for home measurement of BP. It recommends the same time of day and to do 2-3 readings 1 minute apart.