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Old 05-24-2005, 07:13 PM   #1
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janeslk HB User
Father-in-law's BP medications

My father-in-law, age 84, is taking so many medications that I am wondering if they can possibly be that good for him. He had a heart by-pass 15 years ago and may have suffered a few mini-strokes since. A pacemaker was put in in January. We took him to the emergency room last week after he insisted he was having a stroke and his blood pressure shot up. To complicate matters he is in assisted care and suffers from early stage dementia. He doesn't sleep well and can be extremely antsy at times and other times very lethargic. Any help would be appreciated. His meds are:

lisinopril 20mg tab
zocar 20 mg tab
mirtazapine 30mg tab
diltizaem Er 240mg/24 cap
atenolol 50mg
multivitamin
namenda 10 mg
clonazepam 0.5mg tab
furomsemide 40 mg
ranitidine 150mg
acetaminophen 500mg

He was on trazodone 50 mg, but had such problems that this was eliminated.
We asked his doctor to look over all of his meds to see if some could be eliminated. I think she took him off the Zocar and one of the blood pressure meds. Now we are wondering if eliminating one of the meds caused his problems last week. He had some fluid around his heart and the hospital docs thought he may have had a mini-stroke--no loss of strength or anything. Actually, he seemed more alert mentally when he was in the hospital. I know nothing about blood pressure problems.

 
Old 05-25-2005, 11:35 AM   #2
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CASSIEBEL HB User
Re: Father-in-law's BP medications

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeslk
My father-in-law, age 84, is taking so many medications that I am wondering if they can possibly be that good for him. He had a heart by-pass 15 years ago and may have suffered a few mini-strokes since. A pacemaker was put in in January. We took him to the emergency room last week after he insisted he was having a stroke and his blood pressure shot up. To complicate matters he is in assisted care and suffers from early stage dementia. He doesn't sleep well and can be extremely antsy at times and other times very lethargic. Any help would be appreciated. His meds are:

lisinopril 20mg tab
zocar 20 mg tab
mirtazapine 30mg tab
diltizaem Er 240mg/24 cap
atenolol 50mg
multivitamin
namenda 10 mg
clonazepam 0.5mg tab
furomsemide 40 mg
ranitidine 150mg
acetaminophen 500mg

He was on trazodone 50 mg, but had such problems that this was eliminated.
We asked his doctor to look over all of his meds to see if some could be eliminated. I think she took him off the Zocar and one of the blood pressure meds. Now we are wondering if eliminating one of the meds caused his problems last week. He had some fluid around his heart and the hospital docs thought he may have had a mini-stroke--no loss of strength or anything. Actually, he seemed more alert mentally when he was in the hospital. I know nothing about blood pressure problems.
Atenolol and Diltiazem? I am suprised that a doctor would prescribe these two together. I guess I shouldn't be though, I was on both for several years. My cardiologist told me that the combo of verapimil or diltiazem with a beta blocker can lead to hearblock and thus a pacemaker. They caused me to have a permanently slow pulse (MID 50s).
Maybe because of his age/health it was necessary?
I am still amazed at what some doctors don't know about BP meds.
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 05-25-2005 at 11:37 AM.

 
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Old 05-25-2005, 01:08 PM   #3
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pal7778 HB User
Re: Father-in-law's BP medications

I agree, to put it bluntly, that taking two drugs designed to slow the heart rate together can't be good for someone who's obviously been diagnosed with very significant heart problems. I'm no MD etc. etc., so I could be wrong. What's his bp?

 
Old 05-25-2005, 04:09 PM   #4
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janeslk HB User
Re: Father-in-law's BP medications

I don't know, but I will find out. It was extremely high when we went to the ER. 193/80? It kept fluctuating while he was in ER, but dropped dramatically BEFORE any medication was administered. I thought a pacemaker was supposed to help regulate his BP, but was told by a nurse that it was not for that purpose. Sorry I am so ignorant about his numbers, etc. From what I have been reading on this board it seems it would be difficult to take him off the atenolol at this point.

 
Old 05-25-2005, 06:56 PM   #5
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Re: Father-in-law's BP medications

You are absolutely correct. Stopping the atenolol at his age and with his heart condition could be very dangerous but stopping the diltiazem shouldn't be a problem. There are other CCBs that don't slow the heart rate down and would be OK with a beta blocker.
If you look at the side effects of some of his meds they match a lot of his symptoms. The drug mirtazapine has so many side effcts I can't see how it could help anyone.
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 05-25-2005 at 07:09 PM.

 
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