Common Medications that Can Affect Blood Pressure

6 months ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Amanda Alfredson

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the leading causes of heart disease. With nearly half of adults in the US having high blood pressure, it is important for pharmacists to be knowledgeable about all that can affect it. Some risk factors include diet, family history, smoking and alcohol habits, etc. Another risk of high blood pressure is taking certain medications. Below is a list of some common medications that can affect blood pressure.

  1. Pain Medications
    Some pain medications can cause people to retain water, creating kidney problems and increasing their blood pressure. Here are some examples of these medications:
    1. Indomethacin
    2. Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, naproxen sodium and ibuprofen
    3. Piroxicam
  2. Cold Medicines
    Decongestants narrow blood vessels, which can make it harder for blood to flow through them, increasing blood pressure. They can also make some blood pressure medications less effective.
    1. Pseudoephedrine
    2. Phenylephrine
  3. Antidepressants
    These medications work by changing the body’s response to brain chemicals. These chemicals in turn can play a role in your blood pressure.
    1. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
    2. Tricyclic antidepressants
    3. Fluoxetine
  4. Hormonal Birth Control
    Both hormonal birth control pills and devices can narrow blood vessels causing blood pressure to increase.

  5. Herbal Supplements
    Some herbal supplements can either raise blood pressure or affect current blood pressure medications.
    1. Arnica
    2. Ephedra
    3. Ginseng
    4. Guarana
    5. Licorice

There are plenty more medications that can affect blood pressure, but these are some of the commonly used ones. As pharmacists, it is important to ensure your patients are being safe while taking these. Whether they monitor their blood pressure or they opt for the alternatives, there are ways to avoid a spike in their blood pressure to maintain their health and safety. For more tips and resources on hypertension, visit the CDC website.

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