Medications that can Increase Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, doesn’t usually cause any symptoms but it can cause a lot of damage to the body. One of the most serious problems it can cause is arteriosclerosis – “hardening of the arteries” and that’s the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. These are the big killers of many Americans, and for survivors, the cause of so much suffering. Blood pressure medications can help lower the blood pressure but some medications can counteract their effects. Some of those medications are:
- Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen which belong to a drug class called NSAIDs (an acronym for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can increase the BP. An occasional dose may be okay, but those with a high risk of cardiovascular disease should discuss limiting the dose and duration with their provider.
- Oral decongestants used for colds and other sinus problems mimic the “flight or fight” response. That’s why people often don’t sleep well after an evening dose of it. Those with uncontrolled hypertension should avoid them.
- Anti-depressants from a class called SNRIs can increase the blood pressure if the dose is on the high side.
- Medications used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can increase the blood pressure as well.
- Contraceptives with estrogen can also cause or contribute to hypertension.
Herbs can also have pharmacological (drug-like) actions. Some of those implicated in causing or contributing to hypertension are: ephedra, bloodroot, bitter orange, green tea, hawthorn, licorice root, guarana, mistletoe, maca, coltsfoot, cola nut, scotch broom, grape seed, mate, and ginseng. Also, many herbs and supplements can interact with prescription drugs and cause side effects
This information is not intended to replace the care of your primary care provider. If you have a question about a prescribed or over-the-counter medication, herb or supplement, consult your provider or your pharmacist.
References: Prescriber’s letter for Sept. 2017.
“What every Clinician Should know About Herb-Supplement-Drug Interactions,” by Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD. In Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Vol. 18, #2, April, 2012.