Some Meds You Take May Increase Your Blood Pressure

Written by Dennis Mann
HealthDay reporter

Monday, November 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — 1 in 5 people with high blood pressure may inadvertently take medication for another condition that causes their blood pressure to rise even more, a new study suggests.

Left untreated or untreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and vision problems by damaging your blood vessels. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, reducing salt intake, and/or medications can help bring blood pressure numbers back into the normal range. Asking your doctor if any medications you take for other conditions that might increase these numbers would be worth the effort, the researchers said.

‘Danger from [drugs] “Elevation of blood pressure may be overlooked, especially for patients who have been using these additional medications for many years,” said study author Dr. Timothy Anderson, a clinical researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“We hope our article will help change this, as in many cases there are effective treatment alternatives to medications that may raise blood pressure or strategies to reduce risk, such as having patients monitor their blood pressure in their homes when starting a new medication that may raise blood pressure,” Anderson said.

For the study, researchers reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2018. They looked at the use of medications known to raise blood pressure, including antidepressants, and strong prescription NSAIDs. Medications (NSAIDs), steroids, hormonal medications, decongestants, and weight-loss pills among people with high blood pressure.

The study found that 18.5% of adults with high blood pressure reported taking a medication that raised their blood pressure, and that those who did were more likely to develop uncontrolled high blood pressure if they were not also taking blood pressure lowering medications.

The study showed that people who were taking blood pressure medications were more likely to need higher doses to control blood pressure if they also took medications for other conditions that raise blood pressure.

What should you do if you suffer from high blood pressure?

Anderson suggested ask your doctor if any of your medications would affect your numbers.

“It is always wise to ask your doctor about possible interactions between new medications [including over-the-counter medicines] and current conditions and treatments. “This is especially true for patients who meet with many physicians who may not be up to date on their medication lists.”

Sometimes alternatives are available, Anderson said. For example, acetaminophen does not raise blood pressure, but NSAIDs do raise blood pressure. Both of these drugs can treat pain and reduce fever.

The new findings were recently published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dr. Michael Goffman is the chief of cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York City. He understands how these kinds of things can happen unintentionally.

“Many clinicians and specialists don’t necessarily talk to each other, and often their electronic health records don’t communicate with each other,” said Jeffman, who was not part of the study. “As a result, patients can be put on a lot of medications by different providers, some of which are counterproductive for certain medical issues.”

There are ways to prevent these scenarios. Jeffman recommends always bringing the latest medication list to every doctor’s visit.

Dr. George Bakris, director of the American Heart Association’s Comprehensive Hypertension Center in Chicago, also reviewed and approved the findings. “I would urge patients who are prescribed medications known to raise blood pressure to have their blood pressure checked at home after a few days,” he said.

Chris advised that if your blood pressure rises, call your doctor to find out what to do next.

more information

Learn more about how to manage high blood pressure at the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Timothy Anderson, MD, clinical researcher, assistant professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Michael Goyfman MD, chief of cardiology, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York City; George Pacris, MD, professor of medicine and director of the American Heart Association’s Comprehensive Hypertension Center, University of Chicago Medicine; JAMA Internal MedicineNovember 22, 2021

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