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    Old 08-16-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
    flowergirl2day
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    Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Hi,

    a new medication has been added to my regimen. I am in the middle of reading a 32 page writeup about it. It seems that this med is contraindicated in every possible way, not to mention very costly. The drug is a norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine inhibitor.
    Unfortunately, it raises blood pressure and pulse rate, so much so that people with an uncontrolled or poorly controlled hypertension are told not to take it at all, and those with controlled hypertension (I HOPE I can consider mine controlled??) must use it only with caution and frequent blood pressure and pulse monitoring. It should not be used by people with most heart conditions..those who bleed easily-it can cause bleeding...and those who have a renal impairment. These are only a few contraindications, of course.
    Here are the increases in blood pressure in the study groups on 15 mg of the drug:

    Systolic
    Day 3.9
    Night 4.1
    Early a.m. 9.4
    24 hr avg 4

    Diastolic
    Day 5.0
    Night 4.3
    Early a.m. 6.7
    24 hr avg 5.0

    These are the average blood pressure elevations on the lowest dose. The increases in blood pressure are dose-dependent. Some people in the studies had to drop out, because their blood pressure increases were unacceptable. The blood pressure response varies with each individual. I think a few point increase in my blood pressure could be tolerated, if I am going to benefit from taking this drug. I am not sure though HOW I will respond. I am going away for a week -far away- not a good time to start a new drug>>>???

    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-16-2008 at 02:40 PM. Reason: typos

     
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    Old 08-16-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    What a dilema. What is the reason for taking the med? What's the name of it?

    I don't think it is wise to start this medication & then go away for a week. If the med is vital to your health at this time, then you should cancel the trip & stay home & take it. You shouldn't be driving especially on a long trip until you know the drug side effects.

    The biggest potential increase in b/p appears at the worst time: early morning which is the time of most strokes & heart attacks.

    Are you taking aspirin ? Then that increases the risk of bleeding with this drug.

    My daughter went ahead with her cross country trip with 3 kids to my other daughters while starting a b/p med. She's the one with low b/p to begin with. The drug is to help with a kidney issue that was caused by a decrease in calcium from her thyroidectomy in Jan.
    Well, she almost blacked out!!!L

    she was somewhat safe at my daughter's by the time that happened. What if that had happened when she was behind the wheel with those mile long trucks on either side.

    I had that decision to make when everything finally came together & my HCTZ was finally ready for me to take (had to get a dye free version was very time consuming.) I had to go back to NY & sell a house & had all the clients including out-of-state clients lined up. I certainly didn't need the stress of starting a new med considering my past serious drug reactions. Also, it wouldn't have been a good trial of the drug's effectiveness on my b/p.

    Just thought you may get some heart pounding from that drug along witht he increase in pulse rate. I had that with being hyperthyroid & it is very disconcerting.

    What a decision to make? Good luck. Let me know if I can look up anything. Fam

     
    Old 08-16-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    I agree with you in that it is not a good idea to start taking a new drug when one plans on being away for a while.
    This drug is supposed to help me lose some weight in the stomach area (perhaps all over?) and is also a mild antidepressant. It is not one I could not live without. It costs $140 a month and I think it might do me good. More than anything, I want the stomach to shrink!!! I am watching myself gaining weight everywhere (legs and stomach) fast. The legs are from edema. Not much I can do about that. The skin is very tight and itchy. I can't even complain about it, because there's nothing that anyone can do. Maybe if I stopped my CCB, my legs would get back to looking and feeling normal, but since I can't do that, I have to live with it. Because I am not working right now, I just sit with my feet up and read. It helps, though not very much. The legs and feet are pretty bad right now.
    Anyway, this drug blocks the various nerve impulses, which carry the messages to the brain. I haven't finished reading about it beyond the usual pharmacy printout (useless). I''ll check my drug books for any additional information after I finish reading this extensive text.
    Quite possibly, my blood pressure would remain unchanged. I am very curious about that! On the other hand, taking this drug could result in a huge elevation in my blood pressure IF my hypertension is really not controlled. Because my bp readings have been consistently low for several months now, I THINK it is controlled. In actual fact, I am not so sure.
    You asked if I take aspirin. I do. I also have an iron deficiency, which could have many causes, including an existing internal bleeding. I don't need more problems in that department.

    I am not depressed in the least right now. I could be a bit anxious. The depression might come in a couple of weeks, and that's when the mild anti-depressant effects of the drug could come in handy. I have a new specialist I'll be seeing very soon. Looks like I'll need surgeries for two different health issues. One of them can wait. I should know more after my appointment. Maybe the test results are unclear. Some tests are being run for various hormonal disorders-Hashimoto's, hyperthyroid, cortisol issues - adrenals etc. I am meeting another new doctor on Monday to schedule a test. I am so glad I don't have nausea these days - the new drug I was given for stomach issues helps with that. That is a great feeling. I will be able to go and enjoy my trip. I am so glad to hear your daugter has been doing OK since the surgery. What a huge relief!

    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-16-2008 at 05:56 PM.

     
    Old 08-16-2008, 06:58 PM   #4
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    FG,

    You might want to read some of the posts on the thyroid board. There is one at least that sounds like all the swelling you have.

    I can remember sitting with my feet up for weeks at a time & not being able to walk much except for bathroom trips plus I was so exhausted. I had never experienced something like that even when I was pregnant.

    So glad you don't have the nausea. That's one I seldom get even though I have so many stomach issues.

    I guess I misled you. My daughter is till hypothyroid & dealing with the calcium issues which are huge especially with having to take a b/p drug now which lowers her already low b/p.

    So sorry to hear you have to have two surgeries. There are so many issues there when I has HBP. I'm trying to evaluate my risks in case my ultrasound in Oct. comes back positive.

    All I can say is try to re-frame your present situation so you can get through it. You have all this time now to read, paint your nails,
    listen to good music & get a much needed rest. I was too exhausted to read because of the anemia to read so I watched a lot of MASH re-runs. I normally don't sit down & watch TV much although I do have the TV or radio on all the time to keep my mind busy. The computer was a great help too as I connected with a lot of old friends when I felt up to it. Sounds like you have a better Dr or DRS now so lets hope you will solve the puzzle. Having your b/p down now gives you more room to experiment with this new drug.

    Let us know how you are doing. Fam

     
    Old 08-16-2008, 08:10 PM   #5
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    The most important issue with your new drug maybe whether it can be stopped suddenly if the side effects become serious.

    I was thankful that I had read so much about Cozaar because I knew that I could stop it suddenly without a problem. I still called the pharmacist to double check. My Dr's office wasn't much help because she & her partners just said that it couldn't be Cozaar.

    There's a good article in the current Reader's digest about drug reactions. Fam

     
    Old 08-16-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Thank you very much for your input.

    I don't have any issues right now I couldn't handle. I am hoping that won't change. I should be just fine! I just don't like not being able to work. Being home reminds me too much of last year when I was on a sick leave. I don't want a repeat of that. I had to go to work yesterday to tell them I might need some time off after my holidays. I really resented having to do that. I miss them all already after being gone for only one week. I am already starting to feel like an outsider again. They are probably thinking..here she goes again...

    I went for lab tests to the hospital this morning (as I did yesterday). By the time I got to the reception from the parking lot, I could hardly breathe. I took my place in line, panting and embarassed about having to breathe like that. It almost seemed like another reminder of last year. I know there will always be some issues. I am seeing a lot of that in the people my age that I know. We all seem to have some. Ironically, we usually run into each other at the pharmacy, when picking up our drugs. Unfortunately, this is what aging is all about for a lot of us. Though unwelcome, health problems are not totally unexpected.

    I hope your daughter's electrolyte disturbances will resolve. It is bad enough that there are disorders that upset that delicate hormonal and mineral balance to begin with. The drugs we are given to fix some of the resulting problems cause new ones, which often require more medication. I am seeing some of that as well. A vicious circle.

    The drug is either all or nothing. One must take it for a year to get a full benefit. Peak benefits are at six months. It's one of those that cannot be stopped without a doctor's help. Sort of like our beta blockers and CCBs. The pharmacist had to order it in for me - they don't even stock it. He frowned and asked if my doctor knew I have high blood pressure. (????) Told me I'd have to be vigilant about checking it and the heart rate. I sure hope it works. I will do more reading about it before I decide whether to take it or not. It should be here in a couple of days.

    Thank you for all your help - you haven't had it easy, yet have managed to sail through your problems. Way to go~~~!!!

    flowergirl

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 04:40 AM   #7
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    What about your knees? Are they swollen too? I know I'm repeating myself but feel I must. At the time I had the swelling, I didn't know the impact it had on my knees. I have since learned that the pressure of the fluid can damage the ligaments (one of my knee issues) among other things.

    My Dr. could only offer a steriod to solve the problem which would have driven my b/p through the roof to say nothing of what stomach damage I would have had.

    I finally came up with the idea of wrapping the elastic bandages around the knees so I could walk some. I never even got a comment from my Dr. so I didn't know if this was the right thing or not. She was sure I had Lupus & won't entertain any other ideas.

    Anyhow, it was already months down the road when I started using them. The major damage was done by then. I'm pretty sure the bandages would have prevented some of it.

    The Ortho Nurse was very impressed with my solution. She asked me to write up a "How To" sheet about the bandages. She has so many patients who are in my situation who can't use the knee braces because their knees are too small even with swelling. I tried every brace that I could find. The 4 " bandages conform to the area much better. And now I sew velcro on the ends to it is easier to keep them from falling off. They must be unwrapped about every two hours to prevent constriction & blood clots. I take them off whenever I am sitting for a period of time. Once in a great while, I can walk around the house without them for about 15 minutes. That is a treat!!!

    I told my husband that the two things I want the most are to have a normal b/p without meds & my knees back. That saying when one has his/her health he has everything is really true. It kills me to see people damaging their health with cigarretes etc.

    Well, I know you've done your homework & will make the best decision under the circumstances. There are risks on either side.

    I'm in a similar process with the possible thyroid surgery. So I'm doing all my reading & weighing the possibilities. You can only make the best decision with what you know at the time.

    Take care & keep us up-to-date when you feel up to it. Fam

    Last edited by famnd; 08-17-2008 at 04:46 AM.

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 08:19 AM   #8
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
    ... I don't have any issues right now I couldn't handle.
    I don't think that "quit" is in your vocabulary. You are quite the fighter! At one time, were you involved in competitive sports?

    Quote:
    More than anything, I want the stomach to shrink!!! I am watching myself gaining weight everywhere (legs and stomach) fast. The legs are from edema. Not much I can do about that. The skin is very tight and itchy.
    Sorry that you are going through such a tough time.

    I've also been having some problems with edema in my right leg, ankle and foot, with tingling in the foot. In my case, it's worsened by both my diet and my varicose veins. If I sit too long, or increase my consumption of carbohydrates by the smallest amount, I get increased swelling problems.

    I've been monitoring my blood sugar quite closely and have had to go back on my frequent feeding, small meal, low carb diet.

    Probably has nothing to do with your unique situation, but I thought I would share this with you about the relationship between my diet and my swelling problems.

    Quote:
    I went for lab tests to the hospital this morning (as I did yesterday). By the time I got to the reception from the parking lot, I could hardly breathe. I took my place in line, panting and embarassed about having to breathe like that.
    What an awful experience. I can really relate to your problems. Having Heart Failure, I've had to deal with rapid, weak heartbeat, breathing problems and fatigue quite a bit. I hate having the breathing problems. In my case, if I consume too many carbs, or if I do too much exercise or exertion, which strains my weak heart, or if I do something that makes my heart misfire, I'll suffer breathing problems.

    Quote:
    Unfortunately, this is what aging is all about for a lot of us. Though unwelcome, health problems are not totally unexpected.
    Growing older has it's high cost, for some of us. As I reach my 70's, I'm finding that I have to do more just to stay in the same place. It really is a huge pain to have such a restricted diet. But, one must do what one must do.

    Anyways....... have a great trip. I hope that is is very enjoyable!
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    Old 08-17-2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Fam,

    I can't wear anything constrictive on my legs. I tried the compression stockings last year at the suggestion of my pharmacist. She is younger than I am and wears them herself to work and for travelling. I purchased several pairs of stockings in the lowest compression grade last year. Putting them on resulted in an instant and almost unbearable pain throughout one of the legs. I have problems with my right calf and would not want things getting worse. These stockings and other constrictive products are not for everyone.

    My legs are swollen from top to bottom. Can't see the ankles. Only the tips of the kneecaps are distinguishable. I know that edema is really not a big deal and not much can be done. I find that most doctors ignore it completely. I stopped taking the extra diuretic. I was supposed to increase the dose of one of my existing diuretics by too much. The suggested increase shocked me. I am unwilling to do that unless my hypertension doctor says I can. I think I have to start being more careful with drugs before things get completely out of hand.

    I think staying off our feet when the legs are swollen relieves some of the pressure and is not a bad idea at all. I have to get a lot of stuff done today and tomorrow before I leave. I will sit down whenever I can.
    I am sorry about the damage to your joints, caused by a drug that was supposed to help you. I wonder if this possible adverse reaction is mentioned in the regular pharmacy Cozaar printout? I find that the folks who design these drug info sheets are very selective in which adverse effects of the drugs they list. That is why it is up to us to learn what we can. Having some knowledge about the issues at hand and the drugs used to treat them sure helps.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 11:15 AM   #10
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Hello,

    thank you for your comments. I am very surprised to hear about a connection between the diet and swelling. How interesting! I will have to look into it.

    Quote:
    I've also been having some problems with edema in my right leg, ankle and foot, with tingling in the foot. In my case, it's worsened by both my diet and my varicose veins. If I sit too long, or increase my consumption of carbohydrates by the smallest amount, I get increased swelling problems.
    My doctor talked to me briefly about the carbs, saying I should minimize their consumption. I have been wondering why two different doctors are running insulin tests, since my fasting glucose is within range. There is definitely some type of a connection between the carbs, insulin, edema, glycemic index.... etc. I will follow your example and start having smaller and more frequent meals now that I have the time. I might be getting the varicose veins, depending on which doctor you believe. Two have said yes, one no.

    Quote:
    In my case, if I consume too many carbs, or if I do too much exercise or exertion, which strains my weak heart, or if I do something that makes my heart misfire, I'll suffer breathing problems.
    I can't believe it - there it is again - the carbohydrate/diet connection! I now wonder what exacerbates my breathing problems. What a strange association...carbs and shortness of breath. It would be fascinating to learn of the mechanism behind it. You were right in saying that EVERYTHING seems to point to one's diet....In my case, there is a lot of room for an improvement. I will try my best to work on that. That seems to be the key.

    Thank you for your good wishes.
    flowergirl

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 03:02 PM   #11
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
    My doctor talked to me briefly about the carbs, saying I should minimize their consumption. I have been wondering why two different doctors are running insulin tests, since my fasting glucose is within range.
    Diabetes is many different diseases with many different looks. For instance, one can be Insulin Resistant, with relatively normal blood sugar readings.

    Do you take your own glucose readings? If so, what have been your most recent FBS levels? What about one hour after the start of a meal? That should be your peak blood sugar reading, and should be 140 or less. How about two hours after the start of a meal? That should be 120 or less.

    You can have a normal Fasting Blood Sugar, but still be in Pre-Diabetes, or have Insulin Resistance, or be diabetic.

    Quote:
    There is definitely some type of a connection between the carbs, insulin, edema, glycemic index.... etc. I will follow your example and start having smaller and more frequent meals now that I have the time.
    Just remember to keep them small, but have a good balance of carbs, proteins and unsaturated fats.

    Quote:
    I might be getting the varicose veins, depending on which doctor you believe. Two have said yes, one no.
    I haven't been to the doctor for mine. I look down at my leg and see the bulging veins, running down the back of my leg, and know what they are. I've been using a stepper, in order to keep control over my blood sugar, and got quite a surprise. My varicose veins have improved quite a bit since I started on the stepper. So...... needless to say, I've fallen in love with my stepper.

    Quote:
    I can't believe it - there it is again - the carbohydrate/diet connection! I now wonder what exacerbates my breathing problems. What a strange association...carbs and shortness of breath. It would be fascinating to learn of the mechanism behind it. You were right in saying that EVERYTHING seems to point to one's diet....In my case, there is a lot of room for an improvement. I will try my best to work on that. That seems to be the key.

    Thank you for your good wishes.
    flowergirl
    A healthy, balanced diet is everything, when it comes to our health and our blood pressure. Everything else is way behind. The path towards a healthy body, with a healthy blood pressure is through DIET, period! We can take all the medications in the world and it would not replace the great effects on our bodies and our health that you get from a healthy, well balanced diet. I've got major and possibly life threatening health problems, such as Congestive Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes II, Insulin Resistance, AutoImmune Disease, etc., and I only have to take 3.125mg Coreg, once per day, 2.5 mg Warfarin, once per day, and .25mg Digoxin, once per day, and my average blood pressure, all day long, week after week, month after month runs about 114/70. How is that possible? One can get off almost all of one's blood pressure medications through diet. DIET! DIET! DIET!

    It's our choice. Either eat a healthy, well balanced diet, or suffer with the health problems and multiple blood pressure medications. It's that simple!


    When we were younger, to most of us, it didn't matter. I used to eat an entire bowl of icecream, follow it up with a bag of popcorn, the munch on potato chips all day long, drink a sixpack of beer, and never gain an ounce, and without any major health problems.

    Now...... if I look at a carb crosseyes, I get major health problems.

    You have some unexplained health problems. If I were you, I would go to the extremes, and start a very healthy, small meal, frequent feeding diet of about six meals per day, or seven meals per day. We are supposed to eat, something like seven servings of grains per day. That means seven meals per day. The government's food pyramid outlines the number of servings per day of each food group.

    Take care and have a fun, safe trip.
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    Last edited by Machaon; 08-18-2008 at 04:23 AM. Reason: Emphasis on DIET.

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 07:15 PM   #12
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Quote:
    I haven't been to the doctor for mine. I look down at my leg and see the bulging veins, running down the back of my leg, and know what they are
    I asked sort of off-handedly while seeing doctors (one of them an internist) for other stuff. I have a line of bumps the length of each of the shinbones. Not that you can see them now. They look and feel like a bone. I have nothing like that anywhere else on the legs. If you saw them, you'd think them strange. Everyone wants to know what they are. One doctor insists they are cysts. (I did not ask for details). The other two said that I was getting varicose veins. No one in my family has them. Time will tell.

    I have one of those things (a stepper ) so should do a little bit of "stepping" at a time and see how it goes. I mentioned wanting to become more active, going for walks and exercising. I was told to watch what I eat, and not worry about exercise. I have some doubts about the soundness of that advice for obvious reasons, especially since now I need to lose a lot of weight.

    Quote:
    A healthy, balanced diet is everything, when it comes to our health. Everything else is way behind.
    Honestly, you sound JUST LIKE my doctor!
    Thanks for your advice. It is much appreciated.

    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-17-2008 at 07:21 PM. Reason: typos

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 07:15 PM   #13
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    FG,

    I thought I better clarify what I mean by elastic bandages. These bandages (I like the Mueller brand the best cause it is longer) are 4 inches in width & very long.

    It's like a long narrow scarve that one would put around one's neck in the winter. The bandage can be wrapped loosely or as tight as you want it. So it wouldn't have to be constricting. Then the bandage is attached to the already wrapped portion on the knee area.

    I do appreciate that these bandages may not be right for you or others, but I just wanted anyone reading this that the bandages can be adjusted to your particular situation because they are just a long piece of elastic material not a circular tight bandage.

    Have you been given any reason for the swelling? Also, did your new Dr. have any explanation about how your b/p decreased so much suddenly? Fam

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 07:19 PM   #14
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Macheon,

    My friend loved her stepper too but she said that it ruined her knees. Perhaps she used it too much or she already had problem knees. I don't know but I thought I better pass this along. That's really interesting about the carbs. I don't tolerate carbs well either because I apparently don't digest them too well. I could never have 7 servings. I tried it once or twice when I first found the DASH diet. I got so bloated. Fam

     
    Old 08-17-2008, 07:45 PM   #15
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    Re: Would you take a medication that raises blood pressure?

    Thanks for the clarification, Fam.

    I have been told little, especially about the edema. Like I said earlier, that is just being completely ignored. It's sort of looked at as a symptom of something, nothing else. It is nothing new for me, I live with it on most days. It's just that somehow it's been considerably worse lately, and more unpleasant. My girlfriend was just here visiting. She said she'd seen me look worse. True. It can get so very bad I get all puffy and look like a scary monster. I still look fairly normal (if FAT) now.

    I have a feeling that I will never be able to figure my blood pressure out. I know there MUST be a reason for the sudden drop several months ago with no obvious reasons for it, such as additional meds, or other changes to my drug therapy. Maybe it's a kidney thing. Or a hormonal one. Anyway, it has remained at those levels since then and I am not complaining. At least I have (or seem to) that under control! It does not even fluctuate much (that I know of). I can almost predict what my reading is going to be. Strange, isn't it? I had to refrain from taking my meds before the labwork a couple of days ago and got a whopper of a blood pressure headache while still at the hospital. I took the pills right after I got home, then measured my blood pressure and found it to be -surprise surprise- at my normal levels. So why the headache? It was the blood pressure type I only get with blood pressure elevations. It is very distinct. I just can't explain it. My blood pressure remains a mystery to me. It does not behave in a predictable manner. I am sure some of you guys can identify with that.

    I will watch those knees if and when I decide to get on the stepper. Thanks Fam!
    flowergirl

     
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