Nearly 1 in 5 people with hypertension may inadvertently take a drug for another condition that causes their blood pressure to rise even higher, a new study suggests.
Untreated or untreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems by damaging the blood vessels. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, restriction of salt intake and / or medication can help move your blood pressure back to the normal range. But asking your doctor if any medications you take for other conditions can push those numbers up is worth the hassle, the researchers said.
“The risk of [drugs] “Raising blood pressure can simply be overlooked, especially for patients who have used these additional medications for many years,” said study author Dr. Timothy Anderson. He is a clinical researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
“We hope our article helps change this, as in many cases there are effective therapeutic alternatives to medications that can raise blood pressure or strategies to minimize the risk, such as letting patients monitor their home blood pressure when starting a new medication. that can raise blood pressure, “Anderson said.
For the study, the researchers reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2018. They looked at the use of drugs known to raise blood pressure, including antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with prescription strength. medications (NSAIDs), steroids, hormone 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 increased their blood pressure, and those who did were more likely to have uncontrolled high blood pressure if they were not also on blood pressure lowering medicine.
And people who were on blood pressure medication were more likely to need higher doses to control their blood pressure if they also took medication for other conditions that raise blood pressure, the study showed.
What should you do if you have high blood pressure?
Ask your doctor if any of your medications will affect your numbers, Anderson suggested.
“It is always wise to ask your doctor about possible interactions between new drugs [including over-the-counter medicines] and existing conditions and treatments, “he said.” This is especially true for patients who see multiple doctors who may not always 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. Both of these drugs can treat pain and reduce fever.
The new results were recently published in the journal JAMA internal medicine.
Dr. Michael Goyfman is head of cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York City. He understands how such things can happen unintentionally.
“Different doctors and specialists do not necessarily talk to each other, and often their electronic health records do not communicate with each other,” said Goyfman, who was not part of the study. “As a result, patients may be placed on a lot of medications by different providers, some of which are counterproductive to specific medical issues.”
There are ways to prevent these scenarios. “Always carry the most up-to-date medication list for each doctor’s visit,” Goyfman recommended.
Dr. George Bakris, director of the American Heart Association’s Comprehensive Hypertension Center in Chicago, also reviewed the results and agreed. “I would encourage patients who are prescribed medication known to increase blood pressure to check their blood pressure at home after a few days,” he said.
If your blood pressure is high, consult your doctor to find out what to do now, Bakris advised.
The health care system is essential for improving adherence to medication for people dealing with hypertension
Click here for the recently published study in JAMA internal medicine
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