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Newly diagnosed and so uninformed, please help me!!!!

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Old 12-12-2004, 07:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3
dort1971 HB User
Newly diagnosed and so uninformed, please help me!!!!

Hello to all the people living with HBP. Pleas help me as my doctors won't take the time to explain. I quit smoking cold turkey, no patch, no gum, just straight up DONE. Two days later my blood pressure soars to 180/100. I get a panic/anxiety attack and end up in emergency room. Test were taken and all came out negative. Doctors put me on Toprol & Xanax. After two weeks my average blood pressure was slighty above normal, like the 140's/low 90's, high 80's. Really had no side effects except a very low pulse. Went in for a check up and as luck would have it, I spiked in the doc office and was at 165/100. He sent me to a specialist in high blood pressure. He finally confirmed that quitting smoking is what triggerred the blood pressure problems. I couldnt get any of the other three doctors I had been to prior to this to confirm WHY I was having such high numbers when I'm only 33, not overweight, and no longer a smoker. So at least this guy (specialist) was able to give me an "answer" as to why. Prior to quitting smoking I always checked my blood pressure every month and always ran LOW LOW LOW. However, the specialist switched my meds with no explanation as to what the differance is or why. Now I am on Hydrochlorothiazide. My numbers are great. Yesterday was 124/77, but my PULSE is a racing raging machine out of control. All day yesterday I was between 100 & 120 for a pulse reading. Finally last night I slipped half a toprol into my life to calm the sucker down. So my questions. What is the differance between these two medications. Why did he switch me with out more evidance than the one "white coat reading" I got in his office. Why is my pulse racing so bad!!! Does this mean my body doesnt like the new meds or is it the simply adjustment from one to the other? Should he have weaned me off the toprol?? Whats the differance between the two? In your opinions, what is the best medicine out there for hbp??? Would I be better off smoking the six to eight smokes a day than living on this medicine roller coaster?? As a smoker I had great blood pressure. I wasn't a real heavy smoker. A pack would last four days and sometimes even longer. Some days I would only have two cigarettes, BUT always always low blood pressure. even during seven pregnancies I kept it low. I smoked for fifteen years and think the jolt to my system triggerred the blood pressure and the specialist agrees. wouldnt they have been better off allowing my body more time to adjust to the "no smoking" lifestyle. I have had some scarry spikes though too, with the highest ever being 200/110. Also I have some slight numbness in my left leg since starting the hydrochlor.... Is this medicine like the worst available for side effects. Like I said my pulse was a raging bull and the numbness is rather annoying, but the blood pressure is great. With toprol the pulse was good, no other side effects, and the blood pressure was somewhat elevated but not too scarry. REALLY REALLY need advice before I call the Dr. tomorrow about this pulse and numbness. I know he is the specialist, but I'd like to hear "testimonials" from those who have been there and done that. Thanks for your help

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Old 12-12-2004, 08:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 332
Palamedes HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed and so uninformed, please help me!!!!

First off, congratulations on quitting smoking. Smoking is a much higher risk factor than high-blood pressure. So, whether you have high blood pressure or not, you are in much better shape - at least statistically speaking.

Short term Xanax or maybe even Wellbutrin makes some sense. Sending you home with a script for Toprol from the ER doesn't sound like a very good solution.

The fast pulse you are experiencing is most likely from the Toprol withdrawal. Since you were only on Toprol for two weeks, I wouldn't expect this to last very long. You might need a little weaning. And, taking half a pill sounds great to me. You might want to try a quarter or half every other day. Base this on how you feel.

Your doctor switching you from toprol to a diuretic is a good thing. Once you get things under control, you should be able to just quit the diuretic. These drugs don't need any weaning. HCTZ is actually a pretty good drug as far as side-effects are concerned. It's probably not the best for long term (especially since you are 33) as it can eventually lead to diabetes. But, don't worry about this. I suspect once you settle down, you won't need it for very long.

For long term, the best drugs as far as side-effects are the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) class. For some reason, these are more often used more as a last resort.


Last edited by Palamedes; 12-12-2004 at 09:16 AM. Reason: spelling

Old 12-12-2004, 09:28 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3
dort1971 HB User
Angry Re: Newly diagnosed and so uninformed, please help me!!!!

Pal: Thanks for the info. Why is Toprol unpopular with patients?? I seem to be having more problems on the new meds. What is with this numbness?? Is that from the switch or the new med itself?? My pulse is better today. It's pretty scarry to have that sucker racing at 120 beats a minute. I took another half a toprol. I havn't taken my new hydro.... yet today due to the numbness. Not sure if that is causing it or not, or could it be the switch again. Hate to make the numbness any worse. Going to check my bp in about an hour and perhaps skip the dose today if the numbers are ok. I've had some scarry spikes through all this so will definetly take the dose if need be. I feel like I'm becoming very dependant on the Xanax. After a few hours of not having it, I start to get real anxious and feel a weirdness in my chest. Hate to be dependant on another drug. That is why I question the not smoking thing. After quitting I'm on two blood pressure pills as the hydro....came with another pill for potassium replacement, plus the anxiety pill. With smoking just a few cigarettes a day, I was on no pills and had low blood pressure. Our bodies are strange. The specialist said that he thinks since my dad has hbp that I'll be stuck with it now. He thinks I was bound to get it sometime since it's so hereditarry & the quitting smoking trigerred it earlier than later. I think that sounds a bit far fetched but whatever. He is the expert. Had I known all this, I'm sure I would of stayed smoking. First I was worried about the spikes & was obsessivelly checking my blood pressure twice a day. also the low pulse rate made me worry too. Now I don't check the numbers so obsessivelly, but am worried about the high pulse rate, am taking twice as much xanax, and have this silly numbness in my leg. Very frustrating.

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