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Tags: Health Topics | Heart Disease | High Blood Pressure | blood pressure | heart | medications | hypertension

Beware of These Medications That Could Be Raising Your Blood Pressure

a man's arm with a monitor showing high blood pressure, and pills on the table
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 19 November 2021 09:44 AM

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, plagues three out of four Americans over the age of 60. It’s often called the ‘silent killer’ because high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Heart disease, sexual dysfunction, stroke, kidney failure and aneurysms can all be caused by elevated blood pressure.

The American Heart Association recommends maintaining a normal blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg. It is important to know that certain medications can raise your blood pressure, says AARP. A recent study conducted by Dr. John Vitarello, a resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, found that 19% of adults with hypertension are taking one or more medications that could be elevating their blood pressure.

If you are being treated for hypertension be aware that the following medications may be interfering with your ability to keep your blood pressure under control. Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your doctor.

Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can raise blood pressure and even lower the efficacy of the medications taken to lower blood pressure, says the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The ACC adds that many common decongestants, cough and cold medications, weight-loss stimulants, high-sodium antacids, and even herbal remedies should be used with caution if you have high blood pressure.

According to the Mayo Clinic, even aspirin can raise your blood pressure, so check your numbers frequently. Read labels carefully and speak with your doctor or pharmacist about safer alternatives, says AARP.

Antidepressants work by changing your body’s response to brain chemicals, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, that affect mood. These changes can also increase blood pressure. Some examples are tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine (Tofranil), and medications that contain fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem).

Birth control hormones tend to narrow blood vessels which can raise blood pressure. Most of the birth control pills, patches and vaginal rings carry warnings that the hormones they contain can affect blood pressure, says the Mayo Clinic. Women over the age of 35 and those who are overweight or smoke are at greatest risk. Again, consult with your doctor to see if there are better choices for you.

Caffeine may temporarily raise blood pressure because it blocks a hormone that keeps blood vessels open. Check your blood pressure 30 minutes after drinking coffee or another caffeinated beverage to determine if caffeine is causing your blood pressure to spike. Energy drinks containing caffeine may also cause rises in blood pressure.

Herbal supplements are not necessarily safe just because they are natural. They can also contribute to rising blood pressure or interact with your medications. Some examples are arnica, ephedra, ginseng, guarana, and licorice.

Additional medications that can potentially raise blood pressure are the immunosuppressants given to transplant patients, and stimulants that contain methylphenidate, such as Ritalin and Concerta. 

AARP advisors suggest using PMsPlus.org, a searchable database of prescription and OTC drugs to help you determine if the medications you are taking are appropriate for you. Try to use a single pharmacy so that your records are centrally located.

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, plagues three out of four Americans over the age of 60. It's often called the 'silent killer' because high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Heart disease, sexual dysfunction, stroke, kidney failure and aneurysms can all...
blood pressure, heart, medications, hypertension
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2021-44-19
Friday, 19 November 2021 09:44 AM
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