Patients with hypertension are warned about side-effects of common medications like pain-killers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued important warnings about common products on the market that can cause serious health problems like hypertension. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as supplements and other substances, can not only raise blood pressure, but can also interfere with hypertension-lowering meds.
The FDA is also clamping down on extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics. These are commonly prescribed, but highly addictive prescription painkillers. Opioids, which are in the same drug classification as heroin, have also been found to increase risk of choking, lower blood pressure and slow breathing to the point where it stops or a person slips into a coma or dies from an overdose. High blood pressure is one of the side effects of withdrawing from opioids ─ no easy task!
U.S. nonprofit, Mayo Clinic, cautions that there are other prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplements and substances that can directly raise blood pressure. There is evidence for example, that people on a daily dose of acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, are more likely to develop hypertension. Those who take it occasionally don’t seem to have long-term BP increases.
Other pain and anti-inflammatory medications that cause water retention creating kidney problems and high blood pressure include: Indomethacin (Indocin and others); Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); Naproxen Sodium (Anaprox); Piroxicam (Feldene); Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB); and Meloxicam (Mobic). Antidepressants that contain chemicals that cause blood pressure hikes include: Venlafaxine (Effexor); Bupropion (Wellbutrin); and Desipramine (Norpramin).
The Clinic also warns that birth control pills and other hormonal birth control devices contain hormones that may increase blood pressure by narrowing smaller blood vessels. “Virtually all birth control pills, patches and vaginal rings come with warnings that high blood pressure may be a side effect. The risk of high blood pressure is greater if you’re older than age 35, overweight or a smoker.” This does not mean that all women will have increased blood pressure from using hormonal birth control.
While consuming 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine can temporarily cause a spike in blood pressure, there is not enough evidence to prove whether the effect is long lasting. Some studies have even suggested that coffee lowers blood pressure. Nevertheless, examples of caffeine-containing medications and products include: Caffeine pills (Vivarin, others) as well as coffee, energy drinks and other beverages.
One of the best ways to avoid harmful and addictive medications is to opt for life-style changes and non-drug treatments of hypertension, such as RESPeRATE ─ the first FDA-cleared, medical device that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.