Chronic high blood pressure is one of the most common medical ailments, affecting 46% percent of American adults. What’s more, 20 percent of Americans currently take medications that may affect their blood pressure, which could potentially lead to hypertension, heart attacks and strokes. While many of these medications are necessary, there are strategies you, your doctor and your pharmacist can use to keep your pressure under control.
Some of the most common medications that can lead to increased blood pressure include:
- Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
- Amphetamines such as prescription drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) including Adderall and Ritalin
- Birth control pills that contain estrogen, which can increase blood pressure when taken over a period of time
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin IB)
- Antidepressants that aren’t selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Other drugs in this category may include steroids, antipsychotics, immunosuppressants or testosterone.
Managing Your Medications
Your doctor understands how your medications interact, so there is no need for concern if you are prescribed one or more of these drugs, as long as you regularly have your blood pressure checked.
But there are also protective steps you can take to reduce your risks:
- Always make your doctor and pharmacist aware of all medications you take. Give them a complete list, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, every time you visit.
- Read the labels on any medications you take and consult with your doctor before using any supplements, vitamins or over-the-counter drugs. There may be alternatives available that will interact better with your existing medications.
- If you have been prescribed a drug that can increase blood pressure, be sure to take the correct dose to avoid dangerous spikes or drops. Our MediBubble® may be the perfect solution. We deliver monthly pill packs with medications sorted and clearly marked with dosing schedules by daypart.
If you have any questions about any medications you are taking, talk to your health care provider or one of our pharmacists.