Any medication can cause side effects, and high blood pressure (HBP) medications are no exception. However, many people do not have side effects from taking hypertension drugs, and often the side effects are mild. Still, it's important to stay informed and work closely with your doctor to manage any side effects you may have. There's no reason to "suffer in silence." Today there are more medication options than ever for managing high blood pressure (hypertension).
This article lists the side effects that may be caused by each type of high blood pressure drug. First, here are four general warnings.
About one in three adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. More than 90% of adults who survive into their 80s will develop elevated blood pressure -- also called hypertension -- and about 50% of people will have it by age 60.
Although high blood pressure is common, it's not harmless. High blood pressure is a major cause of atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging process that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Blood pressure higher than 140/90 is seen in:
69% of people who have their first...
Never stop taking medication without first talking to your doctor. In some cases, this can be very dangerous, causing a big spike in blood pressure.
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about the safest medication to use.ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) can cause harmful side effects for pregnant women and their developing babies.
As an informed patient, read about the type of medication you are taking and its possible side effects. You can find a full list on your medication insert. To get you started, here is an overview of the most common side effects of high blood pressure medications.
Medications Used to Treat High Blood Pressure
These high blood pressure medications flush extra water and sodium (salt) from your body. Diuretics may cause these side effects:
Extra urination. Extra water out means more time in the bathroom. Take these medications earlier in the day and when you're not far away from a bathroom.
Erection problems in some men
Weakness, leg cramps, or fatigue. Diuretics may decrease the body's levels of the mineral potassium, which can lead to these side effects. Certain potassium-sparing diuretics do not have this effect, however.
Intense and sudden foot pain, which is a symptom of gout; this is rare.