High blood pressure is a serious medical condition that can affect several health problems, like obesity and diabetes. High blood can be caused by a number of factors, like poor lifestyle choices – diet, smoking, or not getting enough exercise. It’s also caused by certain types of medication that a person needs to take to treat or manage a particular health condition. Discover more about medications that cause high blood pressure, as Bloom discusses this topic in more detail. Find out how you can prevent or manage high blood pressure with your healthcare practitioner.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, known as hypertension, is a medical condition where the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high. The result is a strain on the heart and blood vessels. Hypertension can increase one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke and other health problems. Blood pressure is measured by millimetres of mercury and is commonly expressed as two numbers: the systolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when your heart beats) over diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when your heart rests between the beats). A blood pressure reading of 130/80 mmHg or higher is considered high.
Risks and complications of high blood pressure
There are several risks associated with high blood pressure, the most common ones include:
- Cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure causes damage to the arteries, which in turn leads to the development of atherosclerosis (or hardening and narrowing of the arteries). This puts one at risk for a heart attack or stroke, as well as other cardiovascular diseases, like peripheral artery disease.
- Vision loss. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in your eyes, which leads to impaired vision or even blindness.
- Kidney damage. Hypertension damages the blood vessels in the kidneys, which reduces kidney function and can even lead to kidney failure.
- Cognitive impairment. High blood pressure has been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
- Sexual dysfunction. Hypertension has been linked to low libido in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
The types of medications that cause high blood pressure
There are a number of classes of medication that can either cause or contribute to high blood pressure. It’s worth noting that not everyone who takes these medications will definitely develop high blood pressure, and sometimes the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks of high blood pressure. It just means that you will have to monitor your blood pressure closely, in conjunction with a healthcare practitioner. Some of the medications that cause high blood pressure include:
- Oral contraceptives. Birth control pills can increase blood pressure in some women. Oestrogen in the pills causes the blood vessels to constrict and your heart to beat faster.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This type of medication, like aspirin and ibuprofen, is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. However, the drugs can also increase blood pressure because it causes sodium and water retention, as well as constricting blood vessels.
- Antidepressants. Some types of antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants can also increase blood pressure by constricting blood vessels.
- Decongestants. Drugs like phenylephrine, which is commonly used to relieve nasal congestion if you have a cold or the flu, can also increase blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels.
- Immunosuppressants, which are drugs used to prevent rejection in transplant patients, contribute to high blood pressure by causing sodium and water retention.
- Steroids, like corticosteroids, which are used to treat conditions like arthritis or asthma, can increase blood pressure by causing sodium and water retention.
There are also some vitamins that should be avoided as they can cause or contribute to high blood pressure. Some of these include:
- Vitamin C. High doses can increase blood pressure so stay within the recommended daily allowance, which is between 65-90 milligrams daily.
- Vitamin E. High doses can interact with blood pressure medication so it’s recommended to avoid it if possible.
- Vitamin D. High doses can contribute to elevated levels of calcium, which contributes to high blood pressure.
The best way to prevent or manage high blood pressure caused by medication
- Communication. Make sure you and your healthcare provider, like your doctor or clinic nurse, are aware of your hypertension and all the medication that you take. This includes both prescribed medication, supplements and over-the-counter medication.
- Monitor your blood pressure. If you take medication that causes high blood pressure, you will need to monitor your blood pressure closely. If there are any severe changes, your healthcare provider can make adjustments to your medication.
- Stick to the dosage instructions. Only take the medication as prescribed. Don’t ever exceed the recommended dosage.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Finally, there are ways to decrease your blood pressure naturally, because it’s always advisable to make smart choices, like sticking to a balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body mass index, and reducing high-risk factors, like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
Monitoring your blood pressure with an annual health assessment benefit
Bloom provides the annual health assessment for Momentum Health4Me members, where you will be able to check your blood pressure levels. The assessment is conducted at participating pharmacies, countrywide, You can check your blood pressure check, as well as your cholesterol, weight and blood sugar. All these screenings will provide valuable information about your health and let you know whether you need to make any lifestyle changes or go see a medical professional. The health assessment is available to all Momentum Health4Me Gold, Silver and Bronze members.
Stay healthy with affordable health cover
A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to ensure a good blood pressure level. However, there are some categories of medication that will cause or contribute to high blood pressure. Bloom encourages members to communicate regularly with their healthcare provider and monitor their blood pressure closely if they’re at risk. View our health insurance plans or contact our team of trained consultants who can discuss your health cover options with you.
Medical Content Disclaimer
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.