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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question

Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12905
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I think my blood pressure medicine is making me sick and I

Customer Question

I think my blood pressure medicine is making me sick and I know I'm not suppose to stop taking it. Please advise. I've been taking 20 mg of benazapril for many years. A little over a week ago my doctor added 5 mg of amlodipine. The bp is down, but I feel lousy. My head feels tight like there is a band around it and it's kind of tingly, especially when I stand up. It is Sat. and I won't be able to see a doctor til Mon. I am a 64 year old female. I've never felt like this.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.

Are you able to check your blood pressure at home?

How high was your blood pressure when your doctor added the amlodipine?

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It was 192/90. They took it twice. Same thing which was extraodinarily high for me. My BP is usually somethng like 138-155/60-75. Now with it's around 127-145/50-67
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.

If you are able to check your blood pressure at home, is there much of a difference in the blood pressure when lying down, sitting , and then standing up?

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I sit for about 10 min. it'll go to something like 127/50. I've been checking it often at home because of not feeling well.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.

There are several issues to consider. Certainly, any medicine that is designed to treat high blood pressure can cause excess lowering of the blood pressure. This can occur in two ways. The blood pressure can be low at all times, called hypotension. The blood pressure may also be significantly lower when moving to a sitting or a standing position, called orthostatic hypotension. You stated that your symptoms are worse when standing up, which may be due to orthostatic hypotension. Amlodipine works by dilating the blood vessels, and although it causes orthostatic hypotension less than other blood vessel dilators, any medicine in this class can do this. In cases of hypotension, the usual response is to use a lower dose of the drug. In cases of orthostatic hypotension, it may help to drink extra fluids. Since the medicine dilates the blood vessels, the blood vessels can hold a greater volume, and symptoms may improve with extra fluid (to "fill up your tank"). It is also true that any medicine that dilates blood vessels can cause headache as a side effect, and as your body becomes accustomed to the medicine, this side effect will usually ease off. If the side effect is intolerable, it would require using a lower dose of the drug or a different drug. In your case, it would be reasonable to first try to increase fluid intake to see if the symptoms improve.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have tried increasing my fluid intake as I'd read that was the thing to do. I can't function normally. I'm really off kilter
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.

If drinking extra fluids has not helped, then the only other options available to you would be to try a lower dose or stop the medicine until you can talk to your physician.

 

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