Many people with hypertension take drugs increase their blood pressure

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Maintaining a balanced blood pressure is crucial for avoiding serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

However, researchers from Harvard have discovered that nearly 20% of people with high blood pressure may be inadvertently intensifying their condition by using medication prescribed for other health issues.

The Unseen Culprit in Medication

High blood pressure, if left unchecked or inadequately treated, can lead to severe damage to blood vessels, escalating risks for multiple organ damage.

Managing blood pressure is typically approached through lifestyle modifications and/or medications intended to lower it.

But some medications, intended for other health conditions, can paradoxically elevate blood pressure, complicating the management of hypertensive patients.

Understanding the Interplay

In this study, the scientists examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) spanning from 2009 to 2018.

They investigated the influence of medications known to raise blood pressure, such as antidepressants, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, hormonal medications, decongestants, and weight-loss pills, particularly focusing on individuals with existing high blood pressure.

The findings were startling, revealing that 18.5% of adults with high blood pressure were taking at least one medication that could potentially exacerbate their condition.

Furthermore, individuals consuming such conflicting medications were more likely to struggle with uncontrolled high blood pressure, especially if they weren’t on any blood pressure-lowering medications.

Navigating Medication Management

For individuals who were already on blood pressure medications, the usage of other medications known to raise blood pressure often necessitated higher doses of the blood pressure-lowering drugs to manage their condition effectively.

This finding underscores the importance of meticulously reviewing medication lists, particularly for patients consulting multiple healthcare providers who might not have consolidated, up-to-date medication information.

To mitigate the risk of unintentional blood pressure elevation, individuals are advised to have open conversations with their doctors about all the medications they are on and their potential impact on blood pressure.

Such discussions are paramount, especially for those dealing with multiple health conditions and consulting various specialists, ensuring optimal, harmonized care.


The meticulous work by Dr. Timothy Anderson and his team, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, enlightens us about an often-overlooked aspect of hypertension management— the potential conflict between blood pressure-lowering medications and those prescribed for other health conditions.

Awareness and proactive discussions about medication interactions can significantly contribute to more effective and personalized healthcare, preventing unintentional aggravation of high blood pressure and subsequent health complications.

The findings emphasize the value of comprehensive medical reviews and coordinated care in managing complex health conditions and medications, paving the way for more informed and harmonious therapeutic approaches.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that black licorice could cause dangerously high blood pressure, and plant pigment can strongly reduce blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about the best time to take high blood pressure drugs, and results showing this common painkiller could strongly raise your blood pressure.

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