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  • Hctz What Should I Do?

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    Old 08-14-2007, 06:46 PM   #1
    Modularman
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    Hctz What Should I Do?

    Ive been on atenolol for 10 years and its been fine for me all this time. I just went through a thyroid problem and treatment for 6 months. My blood pressure was up in the Dr. office every time. 170/90 today. At home it is mostly 130/140 over 75-77. It does spike from time to time and goes back down. A few months ago Dr. gave me in addition to my atenolol, 12.5 mg of hctz.. I have not taken this yet because of all the side effects listed. Also because my bp is sometimes at night 130/70-77. What will happen if I take this add'l hctz? Wont it drop too low during the low times. will it stop the spikes/ Anyone???

     
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    Old 08-14-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Modularman,

    I suggest you call your doctor's office and tell them what you told us...I would be concerned about the pressures dropping too low on the hct given your at home readings...and if you're experiencing hot weather where you are, that would be another area of concern because your pressures could drop even further on a diuretic in the heat. If your doctor still wants you to take the hct, ask him/her what symptoms to be on the look out for...and make sure you read all the side effects listed on the package insert so you know what else to look out for...as the doctors don't tell you everything.

    Have you read the package insert to see if you are one of the people who shouldn't take hct? If you're athletic, have gout, any respiratory issues, elevated sugar levels, elevated cholesterol levels, etc. it may not be a med you should take. Just read as much info as possible...hct is very effective, for the right people!

    I can't answer the question re the spikes because although I was on hct for over a year, I wasn't monitoring my bp at home at that time...(my bp was 200/100 while on hct at the doctor's office) and since the pressures haven't been that high since, I've got to suspect it was the hct and/or untreated sleep apnea...white coat doesn't apply to me here.

    Take care...

    Bethsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 08-14-2007 at 07:06 PM.

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 07:30 AM   #3
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Modular,

    HCTZ of 12.5mg. is considered a low dose. Yes, it will lower your BP but probably not dramatically.

    After a decade of beta-blockade, your body has probably learned to make some extra "betas" and thus your atenolol control is not what it was...this is somewhat normal.

    I think 12.5 mg. HCTZ is an excellent idea and if your BP goes VERY low, you can always take less atenolol...a welcome sitution.

    HCTZ has two modes of action: the fast mode is salt excretion which exhibits effects in a day or two and the long term arteriole dilation effect which might take a month to affect your BP/

    I don't think there's any reason to fear the diuretic...moost people find FAR more problems with atenolol than with HCTZ. Beta-blocker + diuretic is the OLDEST and perhaps most effective combinations for BP control...and CHEAP!

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is defined as blood pressure that is lower than 90/60 mmHg.

    The healthy Systolic range is 90 and 120 (mm Hg) and diastolic 60 and 80 mm Hg.

    The 12.5 mg HCTC will take upwards of 6 weeks of daily dosage before taking full effect. I've been taking 12.5 mg HCTZ for two years now without a single side effect... probably because the dose is so dang low. I don't think you have much to worry about.

    One last thing, ask your Doctor to prescribe 100 tabs 25 mg HCTZ to be split in half as this will save you a bundle. The cost is about $6 at Costco. The 12.5 mg pills cost about $30 for 100 tabs.

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VentureMan View Post
    ...
    The 12.5 mg HCTC will take upwards of 6 weeks of daily dosage before taking full effect...
    I don't think this is true...for several reasons, the one being personal experience.

    Quote:
    I've been taking 12.5 mg HCTZ for two years now without a single side effect... probably because the dose is so dang low. I don't think you have much to worry about.
    I took only 12.5 mg of hctz (combined with benicar) and experienced similar side effects to those I experienced on 25-50 mg hct alone. Just because the dosage is small does not mean it is side effect free!!! And when the hct is combined with another bp med, the side effects are often intensified as is the antihyperintensive effect.

    Another problem with hct, is that although it is commonly prescribed, it has not been tested on people 50 and older...which means there's alot of stuff they don't know.

    Bethsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 08-15-2007 at 10:19 AM.

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #6
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    I was taking 12.5 hctzt for about 2 years and ended up with low potassium (with a potassium supplement). I was also following a low salt diet which I"m sure contributed. There are side effects with any med....

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 04:01 AM   #7
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    I tried HCTZ 3 yrs ago & had an allergic reaction not to the drug but to the dye in the pill. So if you tend to be a person who reacts to dyes etc. I would be cautious. Then when all other classes of drugs were tried we finally came back to HCTZ. This time I had HCTZ made up into a white powder diluted in sugar syrup.

    I started with ONE mg HCTZ a week until I got to 12.5mg. One's body can often times adjust to a med if the drug is slowly introduced. BTW I have severe resistent HBP. This drug brought my b/p down (mostly systolic) when nothing else would. I don't have any side effects that I am aware of. My blood sugar, cholesterol, & uric acid have not increased more than a few points.

    But you must commit yourself to drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid (12 is best considering Gout prevention). Also you must eat a balanced diet with at least 5 vegetables & fruits plus 2 milk products. Go easy on the fatty foods etc. You should be doing all this anyhow so it doesn't seem to be a problem.

    Make a list of potassium rich foods & get the minimum level everyday. Potassium isn't stored in the body & has a very narrow blood level so you must eat foods rich in potassium daily. Potassium goes into the blood right away where as food sources slowly put potassium into the circulation as needed.

    You're smart to check out the side effects. All these drugs have plenty & some are very serious, but they are all we have at this time. So we just have to pick & choose depending on our individual preferences & what works
    without making life too impossible. Fam

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 04:31 AM   #8
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Modularman,

    I was placed on HCTZ last summer and ended up in the ER with massive dizziness on the drive into work one morning. I was actually dehydrated! My cardio took me off them and to drink plenty of water.
    After about a month I had bp spikes at night before I would go to bed that would usually last a good half an hour. After reducing my sodium intake and getting some good exercise 4 days a week, no more HTCZ and no more spikes.
    I have also deviated from that low salt diet from time to time and now most of the food cooked in restaurants to me so WAY to salty. Even though I splurge sometimes with the sodium, no spikes. Exercise has really helped me a lot with my bp and when I see my cardio later this year, I hope he will take me off some of my pills.

    good luck,
    lyl

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #9
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lylone View Post
    .... Even though I splurge sometimes with the sodium, no spikes. Exercise has really helped me a lot with my bp and when I see my cardio later this year, I hope he will take me off some of my pills.

    good luck,
    lyl
    lyl,

    That's interesting about the spikes! I haven't been having spikes lately, either, but didn't attribute it to salt reduction...but I bet it's because I haven't been adding salt to my foods!

    I hope you'll be off meds later this year, too, but even if you aren't you'll be taking less medication than you would if you didn't diet and exercise..

    Thanks for the insights.

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 11:28 AM   #10
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by famnd View Post
    ...I started with ONE mg HCTZ a week until I got to 12.5mg. One's body can often times adjust to a med if the drug is slowly introduced. BTW I have severe resistent HBP. This drug brought my b/p down (mostly systolic) when nothing else would. I don't have any side effects that I am aware of. My blood sugar, cholesterol, & uric acid have not increased more than a few points.

    But you must commit yourself to drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid (12 is best considering Gout prevention).....
    I didn't know that, fam. I don't like to drink water (unless it bubbles) which is a problem for me...

    Quote:
    You're smart to check out the side effects. All these drugs have plenty & some are very serious, but they are all we have at this time. So we just have to pick & choose depending on our individual preferences & what works without making life too impossible. Fam
    Well said.

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 04:32 PM   #11
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Beth,

    Its been amazing. After I got off the treadmill one night my bp was 98/56! I was shocked! Felt fine and didn't pass out, so I guess I am okay. Also, 7 months and no SVTs. I don't know if its low sodium, exercise, magnesium, fish oil or what.....but the combo seems to be working!
    No panic attacks and I have been driving on the highway, riding elevators and all sorts of things that I would normally give me anxiety. I am loving it.

    Now watch....I have probably jinxed myself


    lyl

    Last edited by lylone; 08-16-2007 at 04:34 PM.

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 05:42 PM   #12
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Oh lyl,

    I'm so very, very happy for you!!! Yes, I do suspect it is the "combo" of things...that may be one reason they say primary high blood pressure is a symptom...because it is caused by a variety or a combination of things that are out of whack.

    People want instant cures...supplements, herbals, pills...and in some cases these things work. But diet, exercise, sodium reducation, alcohol reduction/elimination, smoking cessation, and stress reduction are guaranteed to reduce blood pressure (if the high blood pressure isn't caused by an identifiable cause).

    Couple of questions though...what are SVTs? and the panic attacks---were they related to your high blood pressure? Or have you had them for a long time?

    And finally, you're only going to jinx yourself if you stop exercising, stop eating right, etc. and I don't think you're going to do that! Keep up the GREAT work and keep in touch as you can motivate us to higher levels!

    PS I'm reading those labels, lyl, grin!

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 04:16 AM   #13
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Beth,

    SVTs or Supraventricular Techycardias are when my heartrate goes up over 200 bpm for no reason. Well, no reason they can figure out. Some say it is caused by panic/anxiety and is actually when an impulse from my brain goes to my heart through other means than the AV node which regulates heart beats.
    I was diagnosed when I was 19, in college and physically active. Pretty much since being diagnosed I have gained weight because I was afraid to do anything.
    I was on verapamil until 2 years ago, when I started having episodes again after 5 years of none. Have no clue what made them start back up except that I quit smoking! My new cardio(the old on retired) switched my meds and I was having them like every 3-4 weeks.
    Eblation was mentioned, but it scares me greatly because I hear a lot more stories of it not being successful.
    Finally, I was down to one episode every 3 months last year after having some major anxiety issues about it. Well to date my last episode was April 6th, and it only lasted 10 minutes. Before they have lasted more than an hour!
    I also do take meds for blood pressure, but are continuing to loose weight and hope to come off all of them. I want to go back to having to only take a pill when the SVTs occur like it was when I was younger.
    I am 36 now and the darn things haven't killed me yet!

    keep your head up,
    Lyl

    Last edited by lylone; 08-17-2007 at 04:18 AM.

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 05:26 AM   #14
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Thank you for the explanation of the SVT's and thank you for filling me on the other stuff, too. I can't imagine having to deal with something like that when one is as young as 19. Did the SVT's start then, or is that just when you were diagnosed? Is that something that a child might think was normal if it happened to them, or would it scare anyone to death if it happened to them? I'm just curious, because at 19, you wouldn't have many years of "normal" to compare yourself to, to know something was wrong. I'm probably not making sense...sorry.

    I can certainly understand the weight gain given your situation. Isn't it ironic how our symptoms/health (SVT's) can interfere, (or in other cases we can let them interfere) with maintaining or enhancing our health?

    Well, again, thanks for the update. I'm so very glad to hear you're doing better...

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 04:13 PM   #15
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    Re: Hctz What Should I Do?

    Beth,

    I was diagnosed at 19, but after speaking with the cardio at the time and doing some thinking, we could gather that they had been happening since my teens. I was very active in baton twirling and every once in awhile would feel my heart racing for no reason. I could usually remember having those feelings when I was riding home in the car after a day long practice.
    Then one day while at work, it happened and I went to take a break in the breakroom. After it wouldn't stop, my sister (who worked there also) made me go to a "doc in the box". They stopped it with adenosene(still have the records) and then shipped me to the ER because the doctor on call advised them to. After a night in the hospital and a holter monitor the next day, a couple days went by while my GP sent my results to a cardio and he diagnosed me after looking at the holter, ekg and ecgs from the hospital.
    My regular GP who was out of town at the time said he would have never sent me to the ER and just would have ordered the tests. He specialty was sports medicine and he said it was quite common in teen athletes. Glad I was on my parent's insurance and still in college or else the bills would have been enormous.

    That's my story...
    lyl

    Last edited by lylone; 08-17-2007 at 04:16 PM.

     
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