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Old 07-31-2008, 12:25 PM   #1
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Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Greetings, Please help.
I've been hypertensive over 25 years with blood pressure under control with and behavior modification. Now my pressure is out of wack with meds. I was taken off of vaseoretic (which worked well at the time)because of severe cough and some other meds because of adverse reactions. Each years seems as if my pressure is getting higher. It also seems that since I have stopped drinking a pint of milk a day that my pressure as gone up. I am now taking Micardis 80mg, Verapamil 240mg, low asprin, (daily in the morning) Cardura 8mg (nightly), Lasix 80mg only as needed for adema which is about once a week since i have reduced sodium intake. Within the last 6 months, my pressure has gone from 120/80 to fluctuating between 140/90 - 163/110. Dr. has tried addding Norvasc 10 mg, it lowered my pressure but gave me muscle pains and caused wheezing so it was stopped. We tried the verapamil twice daily and it caused chest pains so it was stopped. We tried adding a 4mg to the 8mg Cardura and I became too sedated, so it was stopped. I've tried Bystollic (caused wheezing and bad feeling). Since I am so senstive, the Dr. tried Clonidine .01 for two weeks then ..02. After taking one pill of the .01 with my other meds, I became so out of it--I lost my desire to eat, I had laboured breathing and I nodded all day when I was not actually sleep. I could not leave the house. I did not take another. I am now awaiting orders from the Dr. I am so afraid. Is this normal reactions to Clonidine? I am asthmatic and take Levoxyl for hypothyrodism. I have been on 5 mgs prednisone for 4-5 years for SLE and the asthma. Can this be an issue with my blood pressure. Thank you for any help

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Old 07-31-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Hi Yannie,

You got that right, Clonidine is a b/p med disquised as a b/p med
Do you get the mental cloudiness too for a 2-3 hrs? It is very addictive & very difficult to stop taking it without severe withdrawal.
Clonidine does have it's place but is not for anyone who wants any kind of life.

Have you revamped your diet & tried the DASH diet for HBP? What about exercise? No smoking I hope. Need to lose weight? I still haven't accomplished that!!!

Taking a steriod will most certainly raise your b/p. Fam

 
Old 08-01-2008, 07:59 AM   #3
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Yanni,

I am surprised you do not take any diuretic as your first-line antihypertensive!!!

When people go to hypertension clinics seeking help for their uncontrollable/drug resistant high blood pressure, a DIURETIC is the first place the doctors look when reviewing their existing drug therapy.
You take a loop diuretic on as needed basis. It is one that's not regularly used for high blood pressure control - though it certainly helps relieve edema. This one is used usually only for brief periods of time, quite often by people with CHF, because it is so effective. It is also very potent and can be harmful if used excessively - causing an electrolyte imbalance.

In my opinion, you should be on a regular dose of a diuretic, such as Hctz. Even a fairly small dose would make a huge difference in your blood pressure control. You would not need as many drugs to control your blood pressure. Did you know that increasing the doses of most drugs past a certain point will make no difference in blood pressure control whatsoever? I got to see it firsthand recently when for some strange reason I started getting consistently hypotensive readings. (I still am, but my doctor thinks they are great). As a result of my newly LOW readings, and fearing further reductions in blood pressure, I reduced my dose of the ACE inhibitor and another one of my drugs.
I strongly resisted going back to my regular full dose of both, when directed to by my doctor, fearing severe hypotension. He assured me that my blood pressure would remain UNCHANGED, because my regular dosing of these drugs exceeded the optimal therapeutic doses. (Besides the blood pressure control, these drugs are used for other indications, thus the high dosing). Anyway, it sure was interesting to see!!! Of course, the doctor was right and my blood pressure has remained unchanged in spite of the increased dosing.

As you and I both know, the more drugs a person takes, the more side effects there are to deal with. Seriously, I feel for you as I am in the same shoes and know exactly what it's like. Try to find the therapy that's best for you. You should ask your doctor if there's a reason you are not on a regular diuretic. Get rid of the Lasix, if your edema is not a big problem. Mine is. I don't use Lasix. I am on two diuretics, Hctz and Spironolactone. They don't do anything for the edema. I just put up with it.
Have you tried taking an ACE and Hctz concurrently? If not, you should. I think we develop a resistance to some of our drugs over a period of time - a good reason to try new ones!

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-01-2008 at 08:03 AM.

 
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Yanni,

Given your history it's understandable you'd be afraid of meds.

Although diuretics may be the first line of defence for hypertensives with a simple health history, someone with SLE, hypothyroidism, and asthma does not have a simple health history. And given the terrible breathing problems that diurectics can cause, it isn't surprising you're taking other bp meds instead.

My thoughts? Your other sle and asthma medications and other conditions are creating your problems with blood pressure...address those conditions differently (with different meds and/or different dosages) instead of meds for blood pressure...and do some reading about the DASH diet, the importance of CALCIUM, magnesium, and potassium for controlling blood pressure, and the Mediteranean (spelling?) which is similar to the DASH diet for asthma. Note: these are not weight loss diets...nor are they gimmicks...but researched by a respected scientific community.

In my opinion, your doctors are prescribing pills for blood pressure instead of treating your other conditions differently keeping your bp levels in mind.

Bethsheba

 
Old 08-02-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

greetings once again. thank you all for your responses. i must say they have helped to put my mind at ease. Bethsheba and Famnd, i believe you both have hit the nail on the head with your assessment. when my blood pressure begain to rise so high, my pulmonary dr. said that we must try and get me off of the prednisone. not only does it cause hypertension, it can also raise glucose and cholesterol levels--i hate it. i am not sure if the plaquenil is having any adverse affects. i have looked up the DASH diet and so far it is very close to the way i eat. since on the prednisone, i have gained over 75lbs. i have become more conscious of what i eat and drink and have lost 26 pounds within the past 3 months. however my blood pressure seems to be rising. i am continuing to work on weight loss. Flowergirl, i was allergic to Maxide at that point my dr. switched me to Lasix. at the onset i took 20mgs daily. the dr. has tried me on so many other meds that did not agree with me. i called the dr. and told him of my experience with the clonidine. he then told me to try the verapamil again because the symptoms i had taking it twice daily was very unusual for verapamil. so now it is day two of me taking the verapamil twice daily and thus far--ok. i hope this works as i continue to work on all other aspects of my health--smile. Bethsheba, Famnd, Flowergirl, thank you all so very much. i shall keep you posted, as two days on a med is not much to know the outcome...smile...peace

 
Old 08-02-2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

oops..also, i eat potassium enriched foods. when taking the lasix, i take 40 mgs of potassium prescribed by my dr. i must look into the magnesium. how much should i take as a supplement? what do you think of CoQ10? should i take that also?

 
Old 08-04-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

A new medication has been added to my assortment to help deal with an acute problem. Guess what it is?.....Lasix. How ironic is that?
So far, it has not made any difference whatsoever. I am in the bathroom every 15 minutes though, being on three diuretics now.

I thought it served me right for having made that suggestion in an earlier post to dump the Lasix.

FG

 
Old 08-04-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

FG,

Is your b/p still so low? Does the DR. have an explanation? I feel for you having to take another diuretic. Hope you have a pretty bathroom at home . It's always something isn't it? Fam

 
Old 08-05-2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

My bathroom could use some updating! I might as well just move in. Having to go all the time is really quite annoying. Especially at work!

I just phoned the hospital to book the tests. I have to wait three weeks...and go in twice, because they don't have a long enough time slot open to do both. That is ridiculous. The only way to get the tests done sooner is to go through emergency. I wonder what my doctor will decide on next. There is a chance things will return back to normal by the end of the week.

My blood pressure is holding (low 100/70s to 125/80). It's never been better! Strangely, there's been no change in blood pressure in the four days with the additional diuretic. It is potent and has not affected my blood pressure at all. I am curious, and will try to find out why. I won't be taking it long, anyway, since it isn't helping with the swelling. The last couple of weeks have been pretty bad for me. Now things can only get better.
I am glad I don't have to worry about my blood pressure though. That is a huge relief.

flowergirl

 
Old 08-05-2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
A new medication has been added to my assortment to help deal with an acute problem. Guess what it is?.....Lasix. How ironic is that?
So far, it has not made any difference whatsoever. I am in the bathroom every 15 minutes though, being on three diuretics now.

I thought it served me right for having made that suggestion in an earlier post to dump the Lasix.

FG
greetings flowergirl
i am so sorry that you have to add another med to your list. maybe the doctor has added the lasix to prevent fluid retention around the heart. although it may not be lowering your pressure, it is relieving you of extra fluid in your body that can cause damage. after a while of use, you will no longer have the running to the bathroom, or loosing rest because you have to relieve yourself. once i deleted sodas totally from my diet and cut back on sodium in foods, i rarely have edema or have to use the bathroom more than 4-5 times daily. did your dr. add the klor-con/potassuim supplement?

as of today, i am taking double dose of the verapamil. (verapamil 240 mgs twice daily along with the micardis 80 mg, cardura 8mg and lasix 80 mg 1xs daily as needed; levoxyl 25 mcg daily, albuterol, qvar 80 mcg 2 puffs 2xs daily, low aspirin 1x daily, prednisone 5 mg daily, plaquenil 200 mgs 2xs daily, vitamin c 500 mgs daily, vitamin b-12 shot monthly. i feel fine on the verapamil, but i have noticed that since started it twice daily, i have had bloody mucous from my left nostril. i have problems with chronic sinusitis and wonder if the blood is from the added verapamil or just my sinus.

i hope everyone wellness

peace and blessings

 
Old 08-05-2008, 04:52 PM   #11
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

flowergirl..forgive me if i missed it, but what type of test of are going in for?

 
Old 08-05-2008, 06:04 PM   #12
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Several. The first two I need done ASAP are the abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds. Then the upper and lower GI scopes. My stomach is huge and I am anemic. I don't think it's connected to my peripheral edema. I am also in pain and can hardly walk. So, basically, a fishing expedition...It will be fun, especially the scopes!

I can't take any potassium supplements, because of a reduced kidney function. Yanni, you sound just like me!!!! Don't you wish we could just flush our meds down the toilet.......My hubby says all my problems are a result of taking all these meds. What a scary thought.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-05-2008 at 06:15 PM.

 
Old 08-06-2008, 06:21 PM   #13
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

-smile- You have such a wonderful attitude Flowergirl. I pray that all will be well for you. I believe the meds create so many more problems while helping others. I blame everything on the years of taking meds for the SLE. So far I don't think the added verapamil is working as expected. I'm getting a slight sharp pain in my head on the right side followed by bloody mucous out of my right nostril--sometimes no pain at all, just the bloody mucous from the right nostril. I have chronic sinusitis, but I do not seem to have this problem when not taking the extra verapamil. Any thoughts? Oh well -sigh-

 
Old 08-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #14
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

FG,

Remember I got anemia from being on Cozaar for 13 days-wonder if yours is from one of your b/p meds. I can't remember the red flags with Lasix but I know after reading about about it, I didn't want to take it.

What symptoms othe than the edema are you having? Are your hands swollen too?

My rash is getting a little better since I have been taking a sun bath three times a week for 15 min. Heard Dr. Oz say that that amount of time results in a lot of Vit D making in the skin. I'm adding up my calcium & Vit D intake so that I will be armed when I see my Endo in a few wks. He always wants me to take more as he can't believe that I consume so much because of my dairy intake.

I'm going to read my Derm book cover to cover. My PC won't do a skin screening for cancer either-my Derm won't until the rash clears up. It's been two yrs-give me a break!!! My PC did say that she would look at maybe one or two lesions. Then we hear all the commercials about getting skin checks.

Hope your tests should something that can relieve your health issues. Fam

 
Old 08-06-2008, 10:53 PM   #15
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Re: Pressure High--Afraid of Meds

Yanni,

Unfortunately, the types of problems you describe are difficult to avoid for those of us who take numerous medications.

Since your hypertension has been treated for 25 years, and your current blood pressure readings are less than ideal, I think you don't have the option of giving up your antihypertensive medication in favor of a healthier lifestyle and an improved diet. I'll bet you eat healthy food and have been for some time...most responsible people alter both right after their hypertension is diagnosed and before any medication is prescribed.

The remaining option is fine-tuning your existing drug therapy. This can be done in several ways. Some drugs can be eliminated and new ones added. Dosing adjustments can be made to the remaining drugs.
Certain drugs we take are essential to the success of the therapy, and often cannot be downtitrated or completely eliminated. I think that in your case it is Prednisone.
This drug is causing you a number of problems you might not even be aware of. It has the highest number of interactions with your other medications. You'd be shocked to see just how many interactions there are. The number of interactions increases with the number of drugs. Unfortunately, you need the Prednisone for your SLE, as well as your asthma. You probably take a higher therapeutic dose because you're treating two conditions with it. (I take several meds like that in high doses). Most likely, that medication must remain a part of your therapy. I know you tried a beta blocker and Amlodipine. I am not surprised you didn't like them. They each interact with more than one of your other meds and are contraindicated due to your other health problems. Also, if you have any cardiological issues, (probably even if you don't) the CCBs might not be best for you, simply because you take so many other drugs. They have additive effects -one enhances the effects of another, resulting in hypotension, reduction in heart rate, changes in conduction and contractility, etc. The serum concentrations of the drugs can markedly increase, thus intensifying the side effects and causing other problems. I have big issues with these drugs (CCBs), but take mine faithfully.
One drug I don't see listed is an ACE inhibitor. You'll probably say you'd tried it and had no luck with it (Did it make you cough?)

The problem is, there are not that many remaining drug classes to pick the meds from. One of my doctors said we'd run out of options when figuring out what new drug to give me. Luckily, my blood pressure is perfect right now and no change in medications is needed. You must get yours under control! I don't have any suggestions as to how you might go about it. I will give it some thought and if I can think of anything, I'll post it. I think that treating patients like us may pose quite a challenge for our doctors!!! I believe that the key to success is the right drug combination. Since you take medication that causes elevations in the blood pressure, it might take a while to find one that will offset its negative effect on your blood pressure in just the right way.

I was very surprised to learn that anemia is found in over 50% of people with SLE. Do you have it by any chance? I am quite shocked, actually. I have to find out more. We are looking for the cause of mine so that a treatment can be started. I am looking into the possible causes of anemia. Just another condition I know absolutely nothing about.

P.S. I had a much beter day today. Lasix is not the answer though. My doctor did not think it would help. It looks as if he may have been right. I did not resarch this drug and don't know how long it takes to be effective. Perhaps I should, even though I do not anticipate staying on it for long.

take care,
flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-06-2008 at 11:05 PM.

 
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