Complete List of Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects

As we get older, many people find that they are taking an increasing number of medications with blood pressure medications being some of the most common. Unfortunately, all medications come with some risks. While blood pressure medication side effects may be mild, there are some more serious concerns to be aware of.

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Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects

Many older adults find that their blood pressure medications seem to make them feel more fatigued, tired, and low energy, which can make getting through the day very difficult and uncomfortable.

While there are no drugs without side effect, the best person to talk with about your medications is your healthcare professional or pharmacist. There are a variety of drugs that help control hypertension, and some may work better for you than others.

Your healthcare provider will tell you two numbers for your blood pressure reading. If the first number is above 130 and the second number is 80 or higher, you have high blood pressure.

Diuretics

Thiazide diuretics such as chlorthalidone and other diuretics help control high blood pressure by encouraging your body to excrete excess water and sodium. They also can reduce your amount of body potassium. Eating a diet rich in this essential mineral, taking supplements or switching to a potassium-sparing kind may help.

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

Avapro (irbesartan), and other angiotensin II receptor blockers, alleviate high blood pressure by allowing your arteries to relax and widen. Side effects are most likely to occur with a change in dosage, which could be prescribed or induced when you take it irregularly or not as directed.

Taking additional medications, from your healthcare professional or ones you bought at the drug store, including supplements, can trigger a variety of side effects.

Keep in mind that ARBs should not be taken during pregnancy.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Procardia (nifedipine) and other calcium channel blockers ease hypertension and reduce your heart rate by preventing calcium from entering the muscles of your heart and arteries. This allows them to relax and widen.

Combining this drug with other blood pressure meds, including diuretics, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors can cause side effects.

Beta-Blockers

Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate), and other beta-blockers reduce your heart rate, which in turn decreases your heart's output and blood pressure. Dizziness or lightheadedness is usually the worst when you get up from a sitting or laying position. Try to get up slowly.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors, such as Lotensin (benazepril hydrochloride) and Prinivel (lisinopril), relax, or open up, the blood vessels. This helps lower your blood pressure.

Ace inhibitors can lead to side effects like:

  • A skin rash
  • Kidney issues
  • A cough
  • The loss of taste

ACE inhibitors can cause serious issues during pregnancy. Speak with your healthcare provider immediately if you may be pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant and are taking this medication.

What Are Other Possible Causes of Fatigue?

When it comes to feeling tired, fatigued, and having low energy, these symptoms are common in a number of conditions not related to high blood pressure medications.

  • Sleep apnea can cause fatigue, and for some individuals, is fatal.
  • Stress can make you feel tired and fatigued.
  • Depression can mimic fatigue.

Speak with your healthcare provider about ways you can increase your energy level. Ask if there are other medications that will work as well without the side effects. If you must stay on your current medications, ask if you can take them on a different schedule that might lessen the side effects. Never stop using medication or change your dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which high blood pressure medication has the least side effects?

    Research notes that ARBs tend to have the least side effects. Keep in mind that these should not be used during pregnancy.

  • Are blood pressure medications harmful?

    For the majority of people, blood pressure medications are not harmful.

  • What are long term side effects of blood pressure medication?

    Research notes that long term use of blood pressure medication may be linked to kidney damage.

  • What are the safest blood pressure medications?

    Calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, and ARBs are generally considered the safest first-line treatment options.

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10 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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