The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Medications: When to Stop?
If a lot of medications live in your medicine cabinet, there’s a chance you may have wondered if you actually need all of them. If so, it’s a fair thought. It can be a tall order to manage several medications every day, especially if they’re used for long-lasting health conditions. More specifically, you might be curious about the process of stopping a blood pressure medication. These commonly prescribed medications are used to treat various health conditions, such as high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms (like atrial fibrillation), and heart failure. But stopping a blood pressure medication can require some strategy, so what should you keep in mind? Here, we’ll discuss the ins-and-outs of stopping your blood pressure medication safely. We’ll also walk through what might happen if you suddenly stop taking your blood pressure medication without your healthcare provider’s OK. What are common examples of blood pressure medications? There are various types of blood pressure medications that you could be taking. They can be used for many reasons, and they each work in different ways to lower your blood pressure. The table below highlights some common blood pressure medications you may be familiar with. Medication type Example Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors • Lisinopril (Zestril) • Captopril • Enalapril (Vasotec) Alpha blockers • Doxazosin (Cardura) • Terazosin • Prazosin (Minipress) Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) • Losartan (Cozaar) • Valsartan (Diovan) • Olmesartan (Benicar) Beta blockers • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL) • Carvedilol (Coreg) • Propranolol Calcium channel blockers • Amlodipine (Norvasc) • Diltiazem (Cardizem) • Verapamil Central alpha agonists • Clonidine (Catapres) • Methyldopa Diuretics • Furosemide (Lasix) • Hydrochlorothiazide • Torsemide Vasodilators • Hydralazine • Minoxidil How do blood pressure medications benefit your body? Suppose your healthcare provider prescribes a medication to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition; in that case, there are various benefits the medication may offer your body. These may include: Controlling how fast your heart pumps
- Lessening the force with which your heart pumps
- Lowering the pressure within your blood vessels
- Lowering the number of natural hormones in your body that may cause high blood pressure
- Raising the amount of water and salt that your body gets rid of
- What are the risks and side effects of suddenly stopping your blood pressure medication?
- Higher blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Swelling in the legs and feet
In general, you shouldn't stop taking blood pressure medications suddenly. If you do, they can cause potentially dangerous side effects that can lead to withdrawal symptoms.