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  • Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

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    Old 11-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #1
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Arizona
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    LeeAnn76 HB User
    Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

    Hello you helpful people. I had been writing about side effects from Lisinopril--and while it really worked at first, the side effect of the horrible nausea in the afternoon was awful---so I saw my doctor Thursday and he said well everyone is different, not every drug is for everyone.

    He put me on Benicar which is an ARB, a cousin to ace inhibitors apparently--I have been on it for just 3 days and my normally well-controlled bp has been up and down. Yesterday afternoon 135/83 which is high for me---
    but then this afternoon, 155/91.

    I called the pharmacist and questioned him---he said that because it was a medication with a different mechanism of action, it could indeed take some days---more than 3---to become effective.

    This all started when I got so sick of the norvasc side effects and changed doctors and my new doctor much prefers these other classes of drugs--
    my bp was fine on norvasc and atenolol---but the swelling and numbness it caused I just decided was too much---and my doctor agreed.

    So what do you think-----I should wait a few more days for this new drug to kick in---I am not sure what else to do. Obviously I can call my doctor tomorrow---but I am curious as to your experiences.

    Thanks for the input

    And of course when I worry about my bp, it always makes it higher---good grief!!

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    Old 11-09-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
    Join Date: Aug 2008
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    writeleft HB User
    Re: Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

    Part of the "secret" of finding the right Blood Pressure medication (or combination of) is the fine art of patience.

    I have personal experience with years of going through the transitions between every bp med, (and combination of) that there is out there. I know it's very disrupting every time, and I can hear your frustration.

    I recommend giving yourself much more time before you judge each med to work, or not work.

    Controlling bp is a very technical thing to tell our bodies to do, using complicated medications, that all have differant approaches. For any medication to work at all, it has to reach it's own thereputic level in your bloodstream. That in itself, can take several weeks of adjustment. It is only when you have the proper medication, at the proper level in your bloodstream, that you can begin to see it's effects. BP management is a long term thing, that will take adjustments throughout your life. Take the time now to really give these medications a chance. You dont want to eliminate a good med, just by not giving it time to work.

    My current medication regimine for BP is:
    Benicar HCT (40-12.5mg) AM
    Norvasc (10mg) PM
    Allopurinol (100mg) PM to prevent gout, side effect of Benicar HCT

    I have also been on Norvasc, Atenolol, and many more. I do understand, and my understanding came too late...
    It was only after I had 4 strokes, kidney failure, heart attack, vision loss etc., did I learn what I know now. I dont want that for anyone else, so please take your time, find the right one, and be patient.

    Didnt mean to ramble like that, I mean the best!

    Old 11-09-2008, 03:47 PM   #3
    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    LeeAnn76 HB User
    Re: Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

    Well, bless you. My intelligence told me that there is a period of adjustment. But of course the emotion and all that drives me nuts. I am lucky that I was diagnosed with hypertension about 5 and a half years ago, and apparently have had no ill effects on my body----it was well-controlled from the beginning of treatment.
    I just had a doctor who was so cavalier about so many things and never listened, and part of changing doctors made me want to find a substitute for the norvasc/ampodipine.
    Even though my bp was well controlled on that and atenolol (because I can tend to have a rapid hearbeat)----I kept reading and I kept feeling side effects I didn't like--

    and I knew my original doctor had only given me the Norvasc because he had samples and he didn't really want to do much else.

    My new doctor is very open and willing to listen and has lots of ideas of what works for people and I trust him. I am not a patient person, but it so helps to hear from people like you--thank you

    Old 11-09-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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    famnd HB User
    Re: Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

    I've been through the "pill mill" too. I think both of your readings probably reflect your anxiety about starting a new med & wanting results. This is "NORMAL." We all go through that.

    Some of the new med is stored in the fat tissue as a reserve since the body considers it a toxin. So it does take awhile to get your blood levels up.

    It took a month for HCTZ (diuretic) to kick in for me & I desperately needed it because my b/p was over 200. Yours are still at safe levels.

    Having said that you must for vigilant for any unusual signs of trouble (side effects) from this new med. I would arm myself with a information sheet called the package insert with all the data concerning this drug. Don't settle for the pharmacy print out cause it isn't detailed enough.

    Some of these b/p drugs can actually raise one's b/p as well as other nasty things. It seems we all metabolize drugs in a different way. Research is going on by a world wide group to find out how to recognize which drugs will work in which body. Mayo Clinic has already done some of this research for certain drugs.

    For example, when I took Cozaar I started getting very painful wrists. This was very unusual for me. My Dr. brushed it off as early arthritis. I was on the drug for 13 days & ended up damaging my body a lot. Yet many people take this drug with no problem.

    So we have to be informed. Having hypertension requires a lot of time from the patient. Your Dr. simply is not going to do this because he/she does not have the time & may be lazy to boot.

    I would still be floundering with my b/p if I had not put considerably effort & time into figuring out my b/p puzzle. I'm proud to say I did as much & more in some instances than my Dr's.

    On the other hand, I would have loved to have gone in & got the right pills, had my b/p drop like a water balloon, & done other fun stuff with my time. Just think of all I would have missed: allergic reactions, endless phone calls to drug manufacturers, swollen hands & feet, severe heartburn, heated discussions with expert Dr's, preparing my case to stop a drug like a lawyer would, & finally adjusting to medications that work for me. Fam

    Old 11-10-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Arizona
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    LeeAnn76 HB User
    Re: Switching from one med to another. . .time to be effective

    Thanks again so much for the encouragement. I do have this new internist who is very responsive and has a lot of experience and ideas about treating blood pressure. And he is easy to get in to see, AND he will even talk to me on the phone.

    For 5 and a half years or so my bp was okay----but it was in switching from the amlodipine that I am now having issues, but I think it is worth it to get off a calcium channel blocker. I have a family member who is a pharmacist and good ones at my pharmacy who talk to me a LOT---and nobody could ever figure out in the first place why this doctor put me on a ccb, except he had samples in his office.

    I fired him for a number of reasons, and my new internist says he really doesn't understand why I was on a ccb---and he much prefers several other classes of drugs and he explained why, and he knew why. So I do have a lot of confidence in him.

    The lisinopril seemed to control by bp at first but then I was getting this horrible nausea every afternoon. So far the Benicar has not given me nausea--of course I just started it. He gave me a 3 week supply to try and then if this seems to be working without awful side effects we shall see.

    I totally understand that some side effects lessen with time, and it is worth it to keep my bp under control.
    Thanks again!

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