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Getting Your Blood Pressure Under Control - When Is It Time for Medication?

March 21, 2023
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2 minutes
Getting Your Blood Pressure Under Control - When Is It Time for Medication?

Finding out you have high or low blood pressure can leave you with many questions, including whether you should take medication to get it under control. When you come to Harbor Health with blood pressure concerns, our health team spends time getting to know your health history and your health goals before creating a treatment plan.

High Blood Pressure

When high blood pressure is brought to our attention, the usual first step, if the blood pressure is not dangerously elevated, is to offer you education and support in terms of lifestyle modifications. Lifestyle modifications may include weight loss via a healthy diet, regular exercise, reduced salt intake, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol, good sleep hygiene, and stress management.

After that, if blood pressure is still elevated, we all should be engaged in shared decision-making to determine if starting medication is prudent.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can be caused by many reasons. The most common type of hypotension is orthostatic hypotension, or when the blood pressure drops after a person stands up too quickly and results in lightheadedness, and dizziness. With the help of a healthcare provider, the cause can usually be determined and corrected without medication.

Several medications can cause hypotension, especially in older adults. Classes of medications that can be attributed to hypotension include medications for high blood pressure such as beta-blockers, vasodilators like nitrates, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics. Other classes include opioids, older types of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications, as well as alcohol.

Always Ask Medication Questions

Our Harbor Health team will collaborate with you to create the best plan to get your blood pressure under control that may or may not include medication. You should always ask your doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects or drug-drug and drug-food interactions with any new medication you start.

Make an appointment at one of our three clinics in Round Rock, North Central Austin or Kyle and start your journey to co-create your health!Call us at 855-481-8375.

Emily Hicks

Emily Hicks

Family Nurse Practitioner

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