A common blood pressure drug has harmful side effects

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Researchers at Columbia University have taken a closer look at chlorthalidone, a drug often prescribed to manage high blood pressure, and their findings suggest some concerns.

This examination is part of a broader effort to guarantee that treatments for high blood pressure are both safe and effective.

High blood pressure is like having cars racing too fast on a highway, putting too much pressure on the roadway, or in this case, the walls of blood vessels.

This can lead to serious health issues, including heart attacks, strokes, and kidney damage. To slow down the traffic, doctors recommend lifestyle adjustments and medications, chlorthalidone being one of them.

In a comprehensive study tracking over 730,000 people taking blood pressure medication over 17 years, researchers compared chlorthalidone with another common medication, hydrochlorothiazide.

Both drugs are effective in preventing heart-related incidents.

However, the study uncovered that those taking chlorthalidone were three times more likely to experience hypokalemia, a condition marked by dangerously low potassium levels in the blood, which is essential for muscle and nerve function. This condition can lead to weakness, fatigue, and serious heart issues.

Specifically, 6.3% of chlorthalidone users faced low potassium levels, contrasted with just 1.9% of those on hydrochlorothiazide.

Beyond hypokalemia, chlorthalidone users also showed a higher risk for electrolyte imbalances and kidney issues, pointing to potential risks linked to the drug.

These findings don’t mean everyone on chlorthalidone will encounter problems, but they underscore the need for regular doctor visits and open dialogue about health and medication. The study’s insights might lead doctors to rethink their preference for chlorthalidone when treating high blood pressure.

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure involves more than just medication. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, minimizing salt intake, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and finding ways to manage stress can all play a vital role.

As researchers dive deeper into chlorthalidone and similar medications, their goal remains clear: to find the safest and most effective ways to manage high blood pressure.

For those on chlorthalidone, staying vigilant and undergoing regular health checks is essential to ensure their “blood highways” are running smoothly and safely.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about potatoes and high blood pressure, and top 10 choices for a blood pressure-friendly diet

For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about impact of vitamins on high blood pressure you need to know, and the powerful link between high blood pressure and a potassium-rich diet.

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