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Old 07-15-2006, 05:52 AM   #1
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Safest BP med?

Is there such a thing as a blood pressure med out there that might be considered the "safest"? I understand that people must be guinea pigs for a time until we figure out what is best for each person but I was just wondering if one drug has been on the market longer than others and considered safer than say the new fangled ones. New is not always better.

 
Old 07-15-2006, 06:01 AM   #2
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Re: Safest BP med?

Hello,

Yes you are right when you said "New is not always better". I have used ARBs like Cozaar and Atacand, they made me feel that I can't even move my leg to stand up . I have to stop ARBs, Also Beta-Blockers cause depression and I sufferred from it for 3.5 years.

I know that diuretic and Calcium Channel Blockers are not new meds. I'm on Diltiazim 120 mg SR twice daily and I can say that it's the best med I have ever used but it's not effective 100%. I need to put a diuretic. I post before about CCB and some people here are using this drug class with no problem for more than 15 years.
Thanks,
Michael

 
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:34 AM   #3
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Re: Safest BP med?

I don't think you can pick one drug and call it the safest, just as you can't pick one and call it the best.

There are so many different types of bp meds available, and they all affect bp by different means, to different degrees, have different side effects, different efficacy.

The doctors choice is based on specifics of the situation. Heart failure patients or extremely obese people usually need diuretics. Heart attack survivors often go on a beta-blocker and an ACE inhibitor (beta blockers because they also help regulate pulse, and ACE, because they have been shown to reduce ventricular remodeling in those with left ventricle damage). People with irregular heart beats are often candidates for beta blockers as well (although even then, which beta to prescribe is a whole separate issue - they are certainly not all the same).

It really depends on each persons situation and just how high their resting bp really is. A bp drug that may be just perfectly suited for one person, may be a complete nightmare for another.

Really, it's actually a very good thing that doctors and patients actually do have a lot of choices in how they tackle their high bp, since it means that an acceptable remedy can be found for just about anyone. Think how many health issues there are where that is not the case. Heck, cholesterol comes to mind - people who can't take a statin or niacan due to excessive side effects - their choices are then very narrow (hopefully the CEPT drugs will be available soon and at least add another option).

 
Old 07-15-2006, 06:49 AM   #4
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Re: Safest BP med?

Fathersson;
You seem to be a well read man in these area's and sometimes I don't even trust my own doctor to have my best interest at heart. (No pun inteded)

I am a 50 yr. old male with a resting heart rate of 60. I do not smoke and am not overweight (in fact I could probably gain some). I try to eat healthy foods and exercise 3 times a week doing a cardio workout for 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer. My BP yesterday was clocked at 142/80.
I want to lower it. Do you know of a BP med that would be for me?

 
Old 07-15-2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: Safest BP med?

Since I'm not a medical doctor, I really couldn't say.

But, ask your doctor about it. If he suggests a medication, ask him point blank why that particular medication? Ask for some literature on the drug, it's beneficial effects and it's side effects. Take the prescription home, but before you decide to have it filled, research the drug on-line, and/or ask about it at the pharmacy. Post back here about the particular drug your doctor recommended for you.

If you don't feel at all comfortable about the particular medication, don't fill the prescription. Go back to your doctor and ask about alternatives. Have your ideas worked out in your mind ahead of time from the research you've done about alternatives.

Finally, whatever medication you do go with, don't get more then a 30 day prescription to start off with. Try it for a few weeks or a month and see if it is in fact lowering your bp enough, and if you can tolerate it alright.

I honestly believe that most doctors truly are in the business to try and help their patients, to the very best of their abilities and knowledge. But, patients need to be proactive too, as you are being. In a non-immediate life threatening situation like yours, you needn't just go along with your doctors advice, but can take the time to check it out.

Also, have you ever measured your bp at home, or only at the doctors? As many here can tell you, they don't get reliable readings at the doctors office (often in part because they don't follow proper procedure at the office - you should be sitting quietly, feet flat on the floor, arms in your lap, for a good 10-15 minutes before you take a resting bp measurement, and talking will invariable elevate it, sometimes a lot). There is the well known phenomenon of "white coat" hypertension, where the stress of just being at the doctors elevates peoples bp.

 
Old 07-15-2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: Safest BP med?

Thanks much Fathersson or your advice. No I have not taken a BP reading at home. Looks like I need to purchase one of those monitors for home use.
Good advice again. I really did not know about the sitting 10-15 minutes before taking a reading.

 
Old 07-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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Re: Safest BP med?

Get one of the good automated bp units (eg. Omron HEM-780) which are incredibly easy to use.

Then, to really get a good handle on your own bp, take it several times a day for a week.

eg. as soon as you wake up, before you do anything more then sit up on the edge of the bed (and even then, wait a minute or two to let your bp and pulse settle from the act of just sitting up) - this is probably the lowest bp you will see, so treat that as you minimum point

Take a couple of other measures during the day - say noon and evening. In order to get a true resting bp, you need to be sitting upright comfortably, feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed. Wait a reasonable time to let your pulse and bp settle and stabilizie (10 minutes to 15 minutes is what the NIH recommends). Take your bp with the cuff arm held up so the cuff is about level with your heart, but keep the arm relaxed. Remember to breath while the machine takes the measure too

Keep a log of your readings so you can show your doc your home readings if they are really different from his office ones (a lot of the home units store some number of past readings).

 
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