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Old 09-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Please help - Could it be HBP, Amlodipine, anxiety or Hormone?

Hello,

I'm 36 year old female. I have essential HBP and have been on medication on and off (most of the time on) for slightly elevated BP for many years. I was taking 50mg of Labetalol twice a day, which I believe it's a small dose and it worked well on me. The reason I was put on Labetalol was that it's safer for pregnancy and breastfeeding. And then after I stopped breastfeeding doctor said if I tolerated it well and it worked, there was no reason to switch.

In the end of last year my BP sometimes went as low as 90/60 at home and I got dizzy when standing up from sitting. I was referred to a HBP specialist. She did a 24 hour BP monitoring on me and then took me off medication. I was off medication for a few months till this May when my BP was climbing up again. I did another 24 hour monitoring. Even though the 24 hour average was still considered normal, it started with a few high readings. My specialist was hesitant about putting me back to medication, but she saw me worried so she prescribed me Amlodipine 2.5mg once a day. She said this is a very good medication and does not have long term side effect at all.

For the first 1.5 months after I started Amlodipine things were good and BP was under control. Strangely from the end of June I started to feel dizzy, tired, sick in my stomach and pain from back of my neck. These feelings come and go and they usually last from a few days to more than a week. I kept a diary which seems to indicate they usually happen right after my menstrual period and they all seem to happen in the first half of my monthly cycle.

At the same time, the Amlodipine seems to have stopped working on me. My BP has been rising in the past month. Occasionally I will get higher readings but on average it has been rising from 110-120/70-80 to 120-130/80-90. Yesterday at doctor's office it averaged at about 130/90. My specialist did not think my BP should cause my dizziness. She also did not think my dizziness is the side effect from Amlodipine. Still she switched me to HCTZ 12.5mg once a day to try it out.

I started taking HCTZ from yesterday and today my reading was still slightly high (120/85), and I still have the fatigue, dizzy, sick feeling. I'm going to do an extended blood work next week. But I had one done a few months ago and nothing major was found. I wonder what that is! Could it be HBP, side effect from Amlodipine, my anxiety or Hormone imbalance (because it seems to have a pattern with my menstrual cycle)?

Your advice is appreciated!

 
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Re: Please help - Could it be HBP, Amlodipine, anxiety or Hormone?

Anyagrace, although I don’t have answers for you, perhaps I can give you ideas to ponder. I would think that the neck pain is causing vertigo which is what is giving you the dizziness. There are some very good threads in HealthBoards on how neck pains cause dizziness. I suffer from neck pain and dizziness from the beta blocker that I take. As for the stomach pain, it may be related to GIRD since the CCB medicine relaxes the blood vessels the same way that it affects the esophagus valve and the GI tract. Have you noticed any chest pains or muscle pains at all? That is why some people who take calcium channel blockers and beta blockers suffer these same symptoms. As to why it is happening weeks later after you started taking the medicine; that’s a good question. I wonder if it was because Labetalol was still in your system and now that it has flushed out your body is feeling the full effects of the Amlodipine.

 
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: Please help - Could it be HBP, Amlodipine, anxiety or Hormone?

I have had high blood pressure all my life...Despite the medication I am taking, I have found that trying to calm myself helps me more than anything...I believe this can be true for many of us...I get nervous when I go to the doctor so it skyrockets...Now that I have my own machine I talk myself down and it goes down...I still use medication, but I also believe that our brain has so much to do with our health...

Anxiety can be a killer...Worry sets off the panic button...Staying calm, at least for me, has done the trick...When I purchased my BP monitor I talked to my pharmacist about this.....Told her how it would go so high in the doctor's office and when I went to my local clinic to have it checked out, it would be normal...She said I, like many other people have "white coat syndrome"...That being, "scared to death when I am seeing my IM doctor"....For me this did the trick...I went to my Orthopedist and it was normal....

These are just my thoughts on what happens with me and hopefully they will help someone else...Take care...ILD....

Last edited by Ilovedollhouses; 09-29-2012 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Sentence mix up....

 
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Please help - Could it be HBP, Amlodipine, anxiety or Hormone?

Thank you for those who patiently read my post and for Seekingpeace12 and Ilovedollhouses for replying with helpful insight!

It's been two months after I posted last time. I still got back neck pain and headache/dizziness the week after my period, but I think I just learn to live with it because my primary doctor told me it's anxiety or hormone related.

At the same time I see him for cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety and panic attacks. I've always been worrying about my health and BP. The fact that I'm on BP medication in 20's and my dad had heart attacks at age 45 gave me a whole lot of pressure...I worry that I'm doomed and I won't live into a healthy old age to see my kids grow up. He helped me to see that my BP is well controlled. Except family history from my dad's side I'm pretty good on all other aspects (such as life style, diet and weight, no smoking or drinking, etc.) He said even if my risk for heart problem in the next 10 years is higher than my peer, I'm still at the low risk category. (Women under 40 has <1% risk, and mine being 50% higher will be 1.5%. I should see the pie chart as 98.5% of them is safe, and not to always focus and scare myself with the 1.5%.) He did give me some very good point for me to feel better.

I'm still learning to embrace these ideas and live a positive and happier life. I'm still obsessed with my BP, especially the diastolic. With HCTZ 12.5mg I got average 107/77 at home for the past month. But still every time if I see diastolic above 80 my heart will sink and I will be sad till next measurement with a below 80 diastolic...Am I a little too nervous? I guess this worry itself increases my BP...

Another question I want to hear people's advice is -- shall I ask to be on beta blocker again? I was on it for quite some years with BP well controlled. The reason Dr took me off was because there was sometime my BP would be 90/60 and I got dizzy after standing up from sitting. But after I was off it, I think my anxiety has been rising. I remembered being happier when on beta blocker...

Thank you all so much!

 
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Please help - Could it be HBP, Amlodipine, anxiety or Hormone?

AnyaGrace, I cannot recommend that you take beta blockers because of what I went through because of them. I took beta blockers for about a half year and my health deteriorated badly due to its side effects. It also affected me financially since I have been to the ER four times because some side effects are similar to a heart attack and all the tests that were done on me add up. The ER also gave me a chest x-ray each of the four times I was at the ER so who knows what all of that radiation is going to do to me long term.
However, many people on this board do well with beta blockers. You seem to have done OK with them as well. I would suggest (I am not a medical professional) to first try another type of calcium channel blocker. Not all CCBs are made the same and your body might respond well to a different CCB.
As for your anxiety; beta blockers are known to cause anxiety (like it did to me) so if you already have anxiety, it may get worse. For an example, look at what Jeany123 is going through right now in the Anxiety boards partly because of beta blockers.
Some medicines will cause anxiety so I donít know if your anxiety is caused by the medicines that you are taking. I have been prescribed Amlodipine, Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), Lisinopril, and Fluoxetine and they all caused me severe anxiety to where I wanted to jump out of my skin. Metoprolol and Bystolic also caused me anxiety but because of their calming effects, I was able to tolerate the anxiety more than with the other medicines.

 
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