long-term side effects of blood pressure medication
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What Are Long-Term Side Effects of Blood Pressure Medication?

High blood pressure is a serious condition, and if left untreated, it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other health problems.

You may be taking medication to lower your blood pressure, but did you know that many of these medications have long-term side effects?

In this guide, we’ll discuss the long-term side effects of blood pressure medication. We’ll also provide tips for reducing your risk of experiencing these side effects.

Read on to find out more:

What Does Blood Pressure Medication Do?

High blood pressure is a serious health condition that can be debilitating. This makes it so important to manage with the help of medications.

Blood pressure medications are typically prescribed to assist with long-term blood pressure maintenance.

Medicines for high blood pressure can come in different forms. Examples are diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and Alpha-2 receptor antagonists.

These medicines can help lower your blood pressure. But taking them for a long time might make you feel bad.

These can include the risk of stroke or heart attack. But also kidney issues, fluid buildup, electrolyte imbalances, vision changes, fatigue, and dizziness.

Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

Both high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. It is for this reason that long-term use of anti-hypertensive medications is commonly prescribed. 

This is to help bring levels back within a healthy range. This is to help bring levels back within a healthy range. But taking medicine for high blood pressure for a long time can cause bad things like strokes or heart attacks.

It is very important to think about the risks when taking medicine for a long time. Eating healthy and exercising are some of the best ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Kidney Problems

Many long-term side effects of high blood pressure medication are kidney related. These could include decreased kidney function and acute renal failure.

As such, anyone who takes blood pressure medication should be extra aware of any signs or symptoms of kidney concerns.

You may feel sick, have achy legs and feet, be dizzy, pee more or less than usual, have too much sugar in your blood, and be tired. This can stay for a long time so tell your doctor if you take medicine for your blood pressure.

Fluid Retention

Taking medicine for too long can cause your body to keep extra water. This makes your body swell and can make your heart hurt.

This can cause weight gain, chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and even shortness of breath.

If you take medicine for your blood pressure, it might make your body hold on to extra water. Be aware of this so that you can be comfortable.

Electrolyte Imbalances

Long-term side effects of taking blood pressure medication can affect the body’s electrolyte balance. This in turn can lead to unexpected symptoms.

Some symptoms mean your blood pressure is not balanced. They are: feeling dizzy and lightheaded, feeling weak and confused, and having muscle cramps.

It can be hard to know if your blood pressure is not balanced without checking it often. If you have any of these symptoms while taking blood pressure medicine, tell your doctor right away so they can help you.

Vision Changes

Medicines for blood pressure can help keep you healthy. But if you take them for a long time, they may cause problems. Some medicines can make it hard to see clearly or even make you go blind.

Fatigue and Dizziness

Having high blood pressure can be a long and difficult journey. The medicine people take for high blood pressure can also have difficult side effects. Fatigue and dizziness are two common side effects that may occur.

Sexual Dysfunction

Your doctor may give you medicine to help your blood pressure. Some of these medicines can cause problems with sex. Beta-blockers can make it hard for a man to get an erection.

But diuretics and ACE inhibitors can also make it harder for a woman to want sex. If you check in with your doctor often, they may be able to change the medicine so that there are no problems with sex.

Gout

When considering long-term treatments for blood pressure, one of the potential side effects to consider is gout. Gout is a joint condition characterized by intense pain and swelling that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the body.

If you take medicine for high blood pressure, it is important to watch out for any signs of gout. Some of this medicine can cause the uric acid levels in your body to go up.

Metabolic Disturbances

Taking long-term blood pressure medication can come with side effects, such as hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and weight gain. These metabolic disturbances can put those taking the medication at risk for other conditions.

These could include developing long-term conditions like type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Medications can help your blood pressure for now, but it is important to be careful. Eat healthy food and exercise to stay safe in the long run.

Dry Cough

ACE inhibitors are medicines that help manage your blood pressure. Sometimes they can cause a dry cough that lasts for a long time.

It is quite common for people with high blood pressure to require long-term medication to keep their levels under control.

Medicine can help to make you feel better, but sometimes they make people cough. This can be uncomfortable and annoying.

Headache

It’s no secret that long-term use of certain medications can have adverse side effects. For those taking blood pressure medication, headaches are a long-standing side effect that could develop without warning.

Calcium channel blockers and alpha-blockers can cause headaches. These headaches can be hard to avoid, but there are things you can do to try and stop them from happening.

While these long-term effects may be unavoidable, there may be some preventative measures you can take to reduce or even avoid these issues entirely.

Nausea and Vomiting

While long-term blood pressure medication has been widely prescribed for decades, it isn’t without potential long-term side effects. One of the most common is nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms can occur when people take Calcium channel blockers or ACE inhibitors—two of the most frequently prescribed blood pressure medications.

For this reason, it’s important to understand why and how nausea and vomiting can develop when taking these medicines so the right steps can be taken to manage any uncomfortable symptoms that arise.

Cold Hands and Feet

Beta-blockers are long-term medications used to help regulate blood pressure. But they can come with an unwelcome side effect of cold hands and feet!

Beta-blockers reduce the amount of blood that can reach your extremities – where colder temperatures take hold.

It’s important to note, however, that this side effect usually isn’t serious or long-lasting if you’re taking prescribed and stable doses of your medication regularly.

Depression

Medicine can help keep your blood pressure steady. But sometimes it can have bad effects on you that last a long time. These medicines are called beta-blockers and central alpha agonists.

These medications may cause depression or worsen existing depression in some people.

If your doctor gives you medicine for your blood pressure, it is important to understand what risks it could have. Talk to your doctor and ask questions so that you can make the best decision.

Liver Damage

High blood pressure is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, but long-term use of medications designed to treat it can sometimes have side effects.

Some drugs, such as methyldopa and hydralazine, are linked to rare cases of liver damage due to long-term use.

If you are taking one of these drugs, be sure to get regular liver tests so any issues can be caught as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage.

Any Tips for Long-Term Use of Blood Pressure Medication?

Managing long-term blood pressure medications is essential for successful treatment to lower high blood pressure. Your doctor can make sure that you are taking your prescriptions properly.

This is to help adjust any other medications or supplements you might be taking to maximize their effectiveness.

Additionally, lifestyle habits can play a powerful role in limiting long-term side effects associated with these medications.

Eating nutrient-rich foods and engaging in regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy balance between the medication and its long-term effects. There is nothing quite like exercise to help you feel better.

Finally, if patients have any worrying symptoms while on long-term blood pressure medication, they should get in touch with their healthcare provider to discuss possible modifications in dosage or even additional treatments.

Taking these steps helps to ensure that long-term use of blood pressure medications remains both safe and effective.

Do You Understand the Long-Term Side Effects of Blood Pressure Medication?

Blood pressure medications are a crucial part of managing hypertension, as they help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications from high blood pressure.

However, it is important to be aware of the long-term side effects of blood pressure medication.

Additionally, lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a balanced diet can help make sure that you receive the best possible care for your hypertension.

To learn more about managing blood pressure through lifestyle changes, check out our blog today!

Works Cited:

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/commit-to-a-plan-to-lower-your-blood-pressure