Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

What are the causes of low blood pressure? (Part 3)

Medications that cause low blood pressure

  • Medications such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, and digoxin (Lanoxin) can slow the rate at which the heart contracts. Some elderly people are extremely sensitive to these medications since they are more likely to have diseased hearts and electrical conduction tissues. In some individuals, the heart rate can become dangerously slow even with small doses of these medications.
  • Medications used in treating high blood pressure (such as angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and alpha blockers) can excessively lower blood pressure and result in symptomatic low blood pressure especially among the elderly.
  • Water pills (diuretics) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL) and furosemide (Lasix) can decrease blood volume by causing excessive urination.
  • Medications used for treating depression, such as amitriptyline (Elavil); Parkinson's disease, such as levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet); and erectile dysfunction (impotence), such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) when used in combination with nitroglycerin, can cause low blood pressure.
  • Alcohol and narcotics also can cause low blood pressure.
Reviewed on 7/14/2014
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