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.
Want to know exactly how much certain lifestyle changes can affect your blood pressure? Take a look at the numbers.
The Change: Lose weight.
The Payoff: You’ll lower your systolic blood pressure (the first number in your blood pressure results) by 5 to 20 points for every 20 pounds you lose. In fact, if you're overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower blood pressure. The weight loss goal is to get your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
The Change: Follow the...
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.