High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Medications (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
In this Article
- What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
- High blood pressure medication list
- Beta blockers
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha blockers
- Alpha-2 receptor agonist
- Central agonists
- Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
- What are the most common blood pressure medications?
- What is the best high blood pressure medication?
- What are common high blood pressure side effects?
- Is it safe to take high blood pressure medication during pregnancy?
- Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking high blood pressure medications?
- Does high blood pressure lead to weight gain?
Is it safe to take high blood pressure medication during pregnancy?
Some high blood pressure medications should absolutely NOT be used during pregnancy as they may harm the mother and developing fetus. These medications include the ACE inhibitors and the angiotensin II receptor blockers. Reserpine may also be harmful during pregnancy and should only be used when no other alternatives exist.
Safe medications to use include methyldopa and potentially some diuretics and beta blockers, including labetalol.
Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking high blood pressure medications?
Some high blood pressure medications initially cause drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Some even cause fainting on the first dose. The body usually adjusts to the effects of these medications and the side effects disappear. Consuming alcohol during the early phase of antihypertensive treatment could be risky because alcohol can also cause dizziness, drowsiness, and lightheadedness.
Also, alcohol consumption causes a transient rise in blood pressure that could persist if the drinking is beyond the level of "moderation."
Does high blood pressure lead to weight gain?
Some high blood pressure medications can, in fact, lead to weight gain. Common offenders include older beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin). There could be several reasons for this -- including the fact that the medications can make patients feel tired and thus less likely to exercise. Minoxidil tablets (Loniten) -- used only when other antihypertensive medications have failed -- can also cause weight gain. Weight gain is also listed as a common side effect of doxazosin (Cardura). Diuretics are more likely to cause weight loss.
Robert J. Bryg, MD
Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease
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