Common medications for blood pressure that are prescribed by doctors are angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors , calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and diuretics. Although these medications have been proven to be beneficial for heart health , they can have side effects ranging from mild discomfort such as headache and lethargy, skin rash, nausea, cough, feeling nervous and dizzy, diarrhea or constipation, irritability, sedation , hyperuricemia and angioedema, even depression, vivid dreams, hallucinations, impotence, hypokalemia, renal failure, hyperglycemia, hypotension and tachycardia.
Care should be taken when taking these medications with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, a history of gout, impaired liver function and severe kidney disease, as they may aggravate the condition. Let’s now see how some of the antihypertensives prescribed as medications to treat high blood pressure can cause other health problems.
1. Medications For Hypertension Cause Psychological Problems:
Excessive mental stress and a stressful daily routine can cause your blood pressure to rise to higher levels. The hypertension is a silent murderer, because it brings a lot of other health problems such as stroke, paralysis, brain hemorrhage, heart attack, and the like. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and diuretics are commonly prescribed medications to control high blood pressure. Although diuretics and beta blockers are excellent and safe medications prescribed for this condition, occasionally fatigue or dizziness, diarrhea, cold, depression and a slow heart rate may occur. You may develop insomnia, hallucinations, anxiety, confusion, depression or breathing difficulties infrequently. Calcium channel blockers can cause rapid heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, feet, swollen ankles or legs and constipation. A cough or other side effects can develop with the use of ACE inhibitors and cannot be used during pregnancy because they cause birth defects.
2. ACE Inhibitors Can Cause Hypotension:
Inhibitors angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) are a class of drugs that have reported no adverse side effects too many.
“They are effective in reducing arterial stiffness and improving endothelial function”.
However, some of the most common side effects reported are cough, rash, temporary hypotension and deterioration of taste. They should also be used with great caution in people with kidney failure. Other commonly observed side effects include dry cough, headache, dizziness and gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Elevated serum creatinine levels and elevated blood urea nitrogen levels are observed with the use of ACE inhibitors. Therefore, you should often check the chemical balance in your body if you are taking this medication. The loss of taste can present a loss of control of hypertension since you tend to increase salt intake when you start to lose taste. This can lead to a rare, but potentially fatal, threat that can cause the fluid to seep from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissues. Severe swelling can cause breathing difficulties. Mild reactions such as rash and fever may also occur in response to the first dose of this medication.
3. Calcium Channel Blockers Cause Tachycardia and Headaches:
Calcium channel blockers can dilate the arteries by reducing the calcium that enters the heart and blood vessels. They relax the heart muscle, making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. But, this type of medication can have adverse effects such as tachycardia, a condition that causes the heart to beat faster and more irregularly than the normal rhythm, so much so that the heart stops pumping blood. They can also cause facial flushing, headaches, edema, dizziness, nausea, rash, drowsiness and constipation. Calcium channel blockers can have adverse effects on fetal and placental circulation, resulting in growth restriction, acidosis and stillbirths when used during pregnancy. Another important side effect is ankle edema that causes swelling in the ankles, legs or feet.
4. Beta Blockers Increase the Risk of Heart Failure:
Beta-adrenergic blocking drugs are widely used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Although they are efficient because of their antihypertensive effect, they cause metabolic and psychiatric side effects. Beta blockers can cause insomnia, fatigue, depression, hallucinations and exercise intolerance. They can also cause a reduction in cardiac output and heart rate, which increases the risk of heart failure. They induce hypokalemia, a low level of potassium in the body, and hypoglycemia, a low level of glucose in the blood, which may be responsible for changes in mental status. Beta blockers could be the culprits here if you lack your usual energy. You also may not feel like exercising and end up gaining weight as beta blockers reduce nerve signals to the heart and blood vessels. Asthma, erectile dysfunction and a greater chance of developing diabetes are other side effects that can be difficult to control.
5. Diuretics Cause Metabolic Side Effects:
Diuretics are prescribed for hypertension in order to reduce blood pressure. They work by removing excess water in your body in the form of urine. The pressure in the blood vessels and the heart decreases when excess water is expelled from the body. Although they can help reduce pressure for a longer period of time, they cause unwanted biochemical effects in the body such as hypokalemia that leads to arrhythmias that can sometimes be dangerous, hyperuricemia that leads to gout, hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, reduction of renal excretory function and hyperlipidemia. Common side effects of diuretics include dizziness, sedation, tremor, anxiety, depression and confusion. They can also cause hypotension and sexual impotence. Knowledge of the aforementioned side effects of the various types of antihypertensives prescribed to treat high blood pressure is essential before you proceed with the treatment.
In addition, some of these medications can aggravate existing ailments or cause birth defects and stillbirths in pregnancy. So, tell your doctor about your existing conditions or pregnancy if you are prescribed these medications to treat high blood pressure.