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Old 12-02-2004, 08:13 AM   #1
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This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

My bf just got his latest issue of Time magazine yesterday. It has a cover story on hypertension in America.

It was interesting in reporting that more and more young people and even children are suffering from hypertension. It claimed that only 1/3 of people taking drugs for hypertension have it under control. I guess I'd have to believe that by reading about people's problems here.

It also give a simple listing of the classes of drugs and what they do.

What really annoyed me though was the statement that sometimes the drugs cause "mild" side effects, and so people stop taking them because the minor annoyances from the drugs are worse than the hypertension which mostly has no side effects. *&$&(&*&&#@$#&$@&^()_*%$#$^$ !!!!!!!!!

MINOR side effects!?!?!?

Granted, some people have no side effects or only minor ones they can deal with, but the article acted like no one had serious side effects!!!

I had some pretty serious side effects to some drugs, which really interfered with my ability to function day to day. And I think if I'd stayed on Toprol the side effects would have killed me.

I read here every day about people who have serious, sometimes life threatening side effects from hypertension meds. That part of the article was full of crap.

Anyway, except for that part, the rest of the article was pretty interesting. I'm formulating my scathing letter to Time.

 
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Way to go! I'm with you on that side effect train BUT I am so glad that my BP is under control, thank G-d. There are many that take loads of meds and their BP is still high. That is a serious problem.

When I remember laying in that ER, after an mi, and all the trauma (needles galore), plus several cardiac caths later (3), I guess the side effects seem tolerable to me. I know what high BP can do to one's heart and body. You may have had similar experiences, I hope NOT, but it does change one's perspective, I guess. I still try to find the meds that do the trick and give me the fewest side effects. I still empathise and sympathise with those that suffer from these side effects also.

Guess I'm trying to say keep up the good fight, cause I think it is worth it!

Jack

 
Old 12-02-2004, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

I agree. I am one of those ppl with hbp and take meds. I have suffered severe side effects from toprol xl as well. I was taking it after having a heart attack. i took it for 3 yrs then i ended up in the er. Also, according to my gp toprol xl can interfer with blood circulation.

I would gladly take any bp med with minor side effects. Minor side effects don't include: itching, rash, hives, swelling of throat, liver pain or can't walk more than two steps b4 giving out of breath.

 
Old 12-02-2004, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

I agree with you jtu...heck, I agree with all of you on this issue! I'm struggling (haven't actually started yet) to get off of Toprol as well. I hate the side effects and thought I had heard them all until I read about it interfering with blood circulation. I can believe that though, since my fingers and toes always feel like they're frozen! Not enough circulation going on!

Ever since I've been on Toprol (approx. 2 1/2 years), I have had what I call "raccoon eyes". I have dark red circles all around my eyes. It's very odd looking, has anyone else had that happen?

DAnn

 
Old 12-02-2004, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Exactly. I feel fortunate that my bp seems to be controlled with just 2 drugs. I put up with the constant ringing in my ears and constipation (and I eat a lot of fiber). And one drug I have to take 3 times a day. That's mild.

Feeling like I am going to have to throw up all the time, feeling like I am going to cough out a lung, tachycardia while at rest, or bp spikes up to critical levels in the middle of the night are not mild.

 
Old 12-02-2004, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

I am taking Diovan HCT 160/25. I had the initial dizzies, but fortunately no serious side effects.

My BP hovers around 128/70 at home (resting). I know they want it under 120 for the systolic, but I'm not going to quibble about 8 points until I see what more weight loss does.

I'm curently 5'7" 230lbs and have lost 15 so far. I'm going to pick up a copy of the mag today.

Take care everyone!

 
Old 12-02-2004, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Mgraylorn,

So sorry to hear about the ringing in the ears (tinnitus). I am glad you brought up the subject. I have been wanting to post my discovery!

About 9 days ago, I started taking Red Yeast Rice to lower my cholesterol. It has the same ingredients as one of the statins, which I cannot take (can't take any statins). Well, I stopped taking otc niacin which I have been taking for years. I didn't want to punish my liver, just in case the RYR effected my liver enzymes. Niacin can cause an elevation of liver enzymes also. Low and behold, the dang ringing in my ears stopped. I was amazed.

I had the same reaction to the RYR that I have had with all the statins. Was layed out in bed for 1.5 days due to the RYR. Had to stop it.

Anyway, I take neurontin for peripheral neuropathy and found it helps the tinnitus some. The only way I can remember to take the neurontin is when my ears really start to ring, then I take it. Well I got to feeling kinda wierd or nervous yesterday and realized that I hadn't took the neurontin in a couple of days, because my ears hadn't been ringing. It was withdrawal symptoms it seems (took some neurontin and felt better). I took my niacin last evening and my ears were back ringing like heck within 25 minutes. Strange, boring, but totally true story!

 
Old 12-02-2004, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Not boring, but interesting. I'll have to check into Red Yeast Rice and neurontin. And ask my doctor if there is anything that can be done about the tinnitus. I thought it was one of those things you just had to put up with. Doesn't matter whether my bp is up or down as far as the severity.

Before I developed hypertension I would some times have ringing in my ears, which I associated with my seasonal allergies. Since I have been taking Tiazac (ccb) it has been pretty much constant, and sometimes pretty loud. I also see it listed for clonidine, the other drug I am taking.

Outside of foods, the only Niacin I get is in a multivitamin. I tried taking one of those mega dose formulas once, and got the nicest Niacin flush you've ever seen. Turned bright red and everything. Being a woman of a certain age, I thought I might be experiencing my first hot flash, except that it lasted more than half an hour.

For a while I took some of those "stress formula" concoctions of B vitamins because I heard it might help stave off Alzheimers which runs in my mother's side of the family. While I was taking this and Toprol, I developed blood pressure spikes and other unpleasantness. I stopped the "stress formula", wondering if that was causing me problems. My problems didn't go away until I stopped Toprol. I haven't tried going back on the B vitamins again (except for what you get in a multivitamin).

There's my boring story.

 
Old 12-02-2004, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

I just looked up Red Yeast Rice and neurontin. At least in the US, in health food stores you can't get Red Yeast Rice. They may call it that, but it has other ingredients in it since the FDA pulled Red Yeast Rice because it is too similar to a statin on the drug market.

Neurontin sounds like pretty heavy duty stuff from what I read. I also noticed a listed possible side effect is elevated blood pressure. You might want to notice if your bp goes up when you take a lot of neurontin.

 
Old 12-02-2004, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Mgraylorn,
Not boring 'tall. I can relate with the "flushing" fer shore, lol. I was prescribed Niaspan, which is 2000mg's of timed released niacin way back when. The doc told me it could cause this flushing and I payed little attention. Went home, took it before I went to bed. Woke 'round 3:00 am, thought the bed was on fire. I was in pure torment for 25 or 30 minutes. If I hadn't been told about flushing, I would have thought that I was undergoing spontaneous human combustion. And dat's the truth, I declare

I take vitamin b12, 6 and folic acid, which supposedly lowers homocysteine, one of the bad zoomies in our blood, but I've heard that they can stop up coronary artery stents.

 
Old 12-02-2004, 03:58 PM   #11
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Re: This week's Time mag has article on hypertension

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack51

I can relate with the "flushing" fer shore, lol. I was prescribed Niaspan, which is 2000mg's of timed released niacin way back when. The doc told me it could cause this flushing and I payed little attention. Went home, took it before I went to bed. Woke 'round 3:00 am, thought the bed was on fire. I was in pure torment for 25 or 30 minutes. If I hadn't been told about flushing, I would have thought that I was undergoing spontaneous human combustion. And dat's the truth, I declare
LOL! Good grief, didn't he start you on a smaller dose? I started niacin therapy on my own, after having the doc try to talk me into Lipitor. (And I had just had the liver enzyme tests, too, so I knew I'd be okay there.) However, I'd read that one should start with only 100 mg. for at least a few days. I did start with 250 mg., so expected a little flushing, but it wasn't bad and went away after a week or so. Oh, and I also read it should be taken with meals to minimize flushing.

On the blood pressure meds, I guess I am lucky, as I really don't know that I have any side effects I can blame on them. I'm on Lisinopril. 10mg. now, but was on 30 mg. for about 4 years. I do have a little ringing in the ears, but not too loud, and I honestly think I had that even before I was on either BP meds or niacin. Never had any dizziness, either. I didn't know how good I had it until I start reading about everyone else's problems with side effects. My late husband had more side effect problems, but he was on so many meds that it would be hard to avoid problems.

 
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