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Nikki

High blood pressure from the drug or withdrawal?

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Nikki

High blood pressure runs in my family. Father and Brother have it. I have it.

 

I have feeling that ssri's are behind elevated levels. I do take Lisinopril and it works.

Weight gain from SSRI's contributes to HBP. However, and I don't remember where or when, I've read that even without weight gain, SSRI's can cause HBP.

 

I also believe that years of being on SSRI's have made cortisol (anxiety) run wild....

 

This year I want to get off HRT ~ followed by ~ Celexa taper. Estrogen replacement (bioidentical or not) raised Blood Pressure.

 

I want to get myself stabilized first and then begin the HRT taper. I've read that a 6 month taper is okay....

 

Who would have known that a great deal of my life would be devoted to TAPERING :o

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Jemima

I wouldn't be at all surprised if SSRI drugs cause high blood pressure. Lexapro most certainly made me hyperactive, and withdrawal, with its hypersensitivy, is certainly stressful.

 

As for HRT, I tried it once, gained weight and got headaches, and refused to take it after a few months. Getting off the hormones is a very good idea, IMO.

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ajnjj

Lexapro significantly raised my bp. Olive leaf extract lowered it.

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Nikki

I was reading Jemima's history and cholesterol was discussed, so I looked up the #'s.

 

The numbers have been lowered on two occasions which we were told was to keep us healthy and prevent heart disease/stroke.

 

I couldn't help but wonder if this is the Pharmaceutical Companies strategy for selling more medication. They keep upping the doses on SSRI's which has proven to be dangerous.

 

My HBP began when I went on Paxil. I gained alot of weight on Paxil. After that it was Lexapro another weight gainer. I have lost weight since my paxil/lexparo days and I am on HBP medication.

 

My cholesterol was high and I take Lovastatin which is on the AARP's list for drugs that cause depression.

 

Is there a link between SSRI's affecting or elevating Blood Pressure and Cholesterol?

Does anyone know?

 

Has anyone who is now drug-free found that their numbers dropped?

 

Thanks

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Altostrata

My blood pressure dropped when I was off ADs. It's now back to normal.

 

Antidepressants mess up the lipid metabolism, which is why they increase diabetes risk.

 

Since you gained weight on ADs, that's a sign that for you, at least, they've affected your lipid metabolism.

 

There are frequent news reports now that statins are overprescribed in general, and those blood cholesterol numbers are artificial, as you've observed.

 

So, Nikki, I think you are on the right track thinking that maybe your BP and cholesterol problems are related to your AD medication, and this may change when you're off it for a while.

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Barbarannamated

I wasn't aware of the lowered numbers, but sounds like strategy to get more people into treatment range. Of course, it's 'a lifetime therapy'. Sounds familiar.

 

My lipids are not good right now and supposedly contributing to my Non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD). No treatment right now. I suspect it will resolve somewhat as my endocrine system gets on track. Estrogen deficiency is one factor in elevated lipids.

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Jemima

I was reading Jemima's history and cholesterol was discussed, so I looked up the #'s.

 

The numbers have been lowered on two occasions which we were told was to keep us healthy and prevent heart disease/stroke.

 

I couldn't help but wonder if this is the Pharmaceutical Companies strategy for selling more medication. They keep upping the doses on SSRI's which has proven to be dangerous.

 

My HBP began when I went on Paxil. I gained alot of weight on Paxil. After that it was Lexapro another weight gainer. I have lost weight since my paxil/lexparo days and I am on HBP medication.

 

My cholesterol was high and I take Lovastatin which is on the AARP's list for drugs that cause depression.

 

 

Here is some additional information on statins:

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/06/fda-warning-on-statins.aspx?e_cid=20120506_SNL_Art_1

 

According to Dr. Mercola, only individuals with a genetic inclination to high cholesterol combined with total cholesterol of 330 or greater should be on statins. Mine is currently 204 with an HDL/Total ratio of 36% (ideal is 24% or greater). My personal, normal range seems to be between 175 and 205. At the time I became severely depressed my total cholesterol was 134, thanks to Lipitor.

 

There is also evidence that "borderline high" and "high" cholesterol result in better cognitive function:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15673620 (Thanks to Rhi for this one.)

 

I absolutely believe that Big Pharma twists the numbers to suit themselves. About five years back there was also a push on to lower the ideal blood pressure numbers from 120/80 to 110/70. Big Pharma doesn't care if it kills or maims in the interests of making more money. Anything goes!

 

As for blood pressure, mine was all over the board during withdrawal despite taking medication. Now it's stabilized on the low side. If I can get it down a bit more, I'll likely trash the medication for that as well.

 

There was a time when I was afraid to move to the sticks because of distance from medical care. Now I think that might be a really good idea.

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Altostrata

I eat a lot of walnuts, nuts, and oat bran, plus all that fish oil, and niacinamide -- my bad cholesterol is kind of high but my good cholesterol is higher, with a ratio that is very good. Consequently, my doctor agrees no statins for me.

 

With the other stuff, I take 3 oat bran tablets and one cinnamon capsule every morning. Oat bran supposedly draws the cholesterol from your gut so you'll excrete it.

 

I minimize omega-6 fatty acids in vegetable oil. I cook with only olive oil.

 

I don't know if it's the supplements, but something is working. My cholesterol ratio, which was good before, improved over a year. (Also blood sugar went down.)

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Jemima

I eat a lot of walnuts, nuts, and oat bran, plus all that fish oil, and niacinamide -- my bad cholesterol is kind of high but my good cholesterol is higher, with a ratio that is very good. Consequently, my doctor agrees no statins for me.

 

Walnuts and almonds are the best for raising the HDL/Total ratio. I even use walnut oil for salad dressings and baking (it burns easily, so it's not good for sauteing or frying).

 

Avoid transfats like the plague - that includes margarine and anything that has hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated fat on the label. Lots of microwave dinners are loaded with transfats, along with snack foods, fast food, and commerical baked goods.

 

The first time I attacked my "high" cholesterol (204) by eliminating transfats, the total number dropped to 177 in six months. Unbelievably, that's when my doctor put me on Lipitor because she wasn't satisfied with the HDL/Total ratio. :wacko:

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Nikki

My numbers did go down after I took Lovastatin. My doctor told me that in 3 months if the numbers don't go down more she would like to put me up to 80mgs. from 40mgs.

 

Lovastatin is mentioned in the link on this site from the AARP to be a med that causes depression.

 

Will read the link posted here....thanks

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Altostrata

The statins do work to decrease cholesterol, there's agreement on that.

 

The questions are 1) do cholesterol numbers need to be lowered to that extent, and 2) what the heck do the cholesterol numbers mean anyway?

 

Not everyone with "high" cholesterol should be taking statins, only people who have a certain type of cardiovascular history. Statins are another type of drug that has been hugely oversold for pharma profit.

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meistersinger

The statins do work to decrease cholesterol, there's agreement on that.

 

The questions are 1) do cholesterol numbers need to be lowered to that extent, and 2) what the heck do the cholesterol numbers mean anyway?

 

Not everyone with "high" cholesterol should be taking statins, only people who have a certain type of cardiovascular history. Statins are another type of drug that has been hugely oversold for pharma profit.

 

Then you have someone like myself, where niacin therapy works better than statins. The cost is a lot cheaper. ($6.00 for a 60 day supply of 500 mg tablets, versus who knows what for statins)

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Nadia

I'm wondering if any of you have had luck with natural remedies for high blood pressure. I know a few have been mentioned in other topics, but I'm too overwhelmed to do a thorough search.

 

I can remember:

 

1. magnesium

2. olive leaf extract

 

This is not necessarily for withdrawal, but I know several people have mentioned having high BP during withdrawal. Since my dad died my mom has had sporadically high BP and I would like to help her.

 

Thanks.

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Jemima

Has your mother been put on any drugs recently? I'm asking because a friend of mine was put on one drug after another for flu this past fall and developed high blood pressure for the first time in her life at age 75.

 

Aside from that, Hibiscus tea is reputed to work (Red Zinger is one brand), and here's an article from AARP about especially helpful foods:

 

http://www.aarp.org/health/medical-research/info-04-2011/6-foods-fight-high-blood-pressure.html

 

As usual, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits can combat just about everythig. Their high potassium content helps to balance any excess salt in the diet.

 

I'm not familiar with olive leaf extract, but magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker and that's the essence of some prescription blood pressure drugs, such as the one I take (Isradapine), Procardia, and some others.

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alexjuice

Hey Nadia,

 

Of course, I would check everything with a professional before taking any action. That said, I think you are probably aware of some of the basics like diet, nt smoking or drinking.

 

There are a handful of medications and alternative interventions. Here is a good page for ideas

 

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypertension-000087.htm

 

Best,

Alex

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Nikki

Nadia I have HBP and it is under control with lisinopril. I know for myself, avoiding salt is a biggy and it does help.

 

You can google natural alternatives for HBP and alot of stuff will pop up.

 

Hugs

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Nadia

Thanks, guys. My mom told me that she used to take medicine for HBP, but that it made her feel so awful that the doctor discontinued it. She said her BP was around 130/? (I always forget the lower number). But lately it's around 160/80.

 

My mom takes magnesium regularly, but I think she may have been low on potassium. She was getting cramps and took a potassium tablet that the doctor had prescribed back when she took the BP medication, because he said the BP medication lowered potassium. In any case, maybe she should take it regularly for a while.

 

And of the foods, the beet juice sounds interesting. My mom loves beet juice.

 

I also read that aloe vera juice with lemon can help. But maybe she'll have to take medication...

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Jemima

Thanks, guys. My mom told me that she used to take medicine for HBP, but that it made her feel so awful that the doctor discontinued it. She said her BP was around 130/? (I always forget the lower number). But lately it's around 160/80.

 

 

I had a bad time on most blood pressure meds. Most of them made me dizzy or groggy or gave me nightmares, but Isradapine doesn't seem to have any side effects. When I first started taking it as a brand name drug (Dynacirc, a time-released version now manufactured by Glaxo), it did make me tired and sleepy in the mornings, but that went away after a couple of months. Your mother might want to ask about one or both of these drugs as they're rather obscure and most doctors wouldn't think of them.

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ajnjj

The olive leaf extract worked wonders for my blood pressure. Also, green coffee bean extract.

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Nikki

How much of each - the magnesium and olive leaf extract?

 

thanks

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Nadia

Did you take the olive leaf extract as a liquid or pill form?

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ajnjj

Pill started with food science of Vermont. Great brand. Started one a day. Worked up to 3

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Altostrata

I haven't had chronic blood pressure problems but withdrawal made my blood pressure (and pulse rate) do all kinds of things.

 

I found acupuncture to be very helpful for that kind of regulation. Meditation is supposed to be good, too.

 

How about biofeedback? Has anyone tried that for high blood pressure?

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Meimeiquest

In dr. office for routine visi, b/p unexpectedly 180/110. Weird with benzo right now (body wants more after AD taper). Ideas?

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Altostrata

If it's from withdrawal, do you want to go on another chronic drug? I suggest acupuncture. I found it very effective for heart rate and blood pressure (mine is usually normal).

 

Also, make sure your electrolytes are in good order, particularly potassium and magnesium. Eat some high-potassium foods, such as avocados, spinach, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes.

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Muddles

Having had to go to hospital last night they did a few blood tests and took blood pressure and heat monitor. My blood pressure usually runs quite low. It was much higher last night. Could antidepressant/withdrawal increase blood pressure?

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Altostrata

Yes. Please see other topics in this Symptoms and Self-care forum.

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Bellisimo

Having had to go to hospital last night they did a few blood tests and took blood pressure and heat monitor. My blood pressure usually runs quite low. It was much higher last night. Could antidepressant/withdrawal increase blood pressure?

Yes ive got higher bloodpressure from withdrawals, specially when my body was in extreme stress going thru worse withdrawals.

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compsports

Unfortunately, during a pre op physical, my blood pressure tested high which I suspect is due from the sleep apnea and the chronic sleep deprivation.   It had tested fine in January but previously, it had been high.

 

As an FYI, I am thin and eat 6 to 9 cups of fruits and vegetables.  I am doing a paleo type diet but would consider switching to a mediteranean diet since it seems to help with low blood pressure.

 

Was going to increase my Q enzyme 10 which greatly helps but apparently, taking it up until the date of surgery can interfere with blood pressure control.   So I was thinking of giving olive leaf extract a shot.

 

Will also lower my caffeine intake, ate a small amount of dark chocolate and start drinking green tea several times a day.

 

Anyway, I have to do two weeks of readings and then go back to the doctor to see if I need a med.   I sure hope to heck I don't but I am prepared that I might need one since I fear overcoming the sleep deprivation might be tough.

 

If anyone has any thoughts or comments, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

CS

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

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Meimeiquest

Mine shot up from benzo problems. Alto recommended accupuncture. I couldn't afford it. To make a long story short, I need to stay away from BP drugs that affect the central nervous system, which leaves ACE inhibitors, diuretics and spironolactone. Good luck...I"m sorry you're dealing with yet another thing.

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compsports

Is yours still high Meimequest?   Sorry yours shot up.

 

I really can't afford accupuncture either as I would imagine it would several sessions to get it down.

 

CS

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Meimeiquest

I'm going to take an ACE inhibitor throughout my benzo withdrawal. On it, my systolic blood pressure is 130's to 102, but it doesn't bother me being low. It was 200/110 at one time in MD office, then 120 when I got home. I was sooo anxious and some nurses on consecutive occasions gave me a hard time about tapering and I went into very major white coat phobia. Which is better now, but I think my PCP was about to fire me at that point. He kept saying "you've got to meet me partway here." So I decided to just take the medicine, and I am slowly tapering the beta-blocker which was a big mistake to ever start.

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lundeliz

Meimeiquest, thanks for posting the info on which drugs don't affect the CNS. I'm on a beta

 

blocker, which I have taken for 30years. Since coming off Cymbalta, it seems to be causing

 

me severe side effects. I think it is giving me bad headaches, constant nausea and stomach

 

upset, weakness,and I think may be causing some anxiety. How is your taper going with your

 

beta blocker? I wonder if I will ever be able to get off after 30 years on it. I will need

 

to be on something for my bp. I hope there will be something I can tolerate since it seems

 

Cymbalta changed my whole system.

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Meimeiquest

Well, I'm tapering three drugs, I rotate in a circle. I've had to decrease my cuts to tiny, tiny ones, but I know I will get off eventually. I only took it for a couple of months before I had problems, but I was just destabilized in general. Counting adding in the Toprol, I have come off four drugs and am still working on three. So hopefully you are coming from a much better place. Just don't be alarmed if you run a fast pulse, that is a normal part of virtually anyone coming off.

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compsports

I'm going to take an ACE inhibitor throughout my benzo withdrawal. On it, my systolic blood pressure is 130's to 102, but it doesn't bother me being low. It was 200/110 at one time in MD office, then 120 when I got home. I was sooo anxious and some nurses on consecutive occasions gave me a hard time about tapering and I went into very major white coat phobia. Which is better now, but I think my PCP was about to fire me at that point. He kept saying "you've got to meet me partway here." So I decided to just take the medicine, and I am slowly tapering the beta-blocker which was a big mistake to ever start.

Oh, I definitely understand white coat phobia.  I think this whole board does. :)

 

I am sorry you had a bad experience with your medical team.  I lucked out and was very happy with the doctor I saw yesterday and plan to stay with her.   She was very calm and reassurring and had a great sense of humor.  I didn't the feel the phobia that I normally experience.

 

Well, I slept 3.75 hours on the machine last night so it will be interersting to see what effect that has on my blood pressure.   And I decided to try fish oil capsules even if I have to discontinue them in two weeks because according to some research, they help.  Just don't feel like trying another supplement for now and will stick to the ideas I mentioned previously.

 

CS

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compsports

Blood pressure yesterday at CVS was 165/92.   But I may have taken it too soon after eating.

 

Today, out of curiousity, I didn't take any supplements and also consumed a few teaspoons of cayenne pepper which is known to be good for blood pressure.   And definitely waited enough time between eating and taking the reading.   This time, it was 148/87.

 

I realize the one at CVS is known to be inaccurate so it will be interesting to see what the BP monitor that should arrive today shows.   I will also stay off my supplements for a few days just to see if there any correlation I can see or not.   Probably not but in my opinion, everything is suspect especially when you are hypersensitive like I am and have a history of paraodoxical reactions.

 

Regarding supplements, I have changed my mind on them.  If it looks like I need to take something, I will probably go with an item that I wouldn't have to discontinue before surgery such as olive leaf extract which I don't think is a herb although  i will double check.

 

I am also going to try to make sure I consume as many foods as I can that are high in potassium because that seems to have a role in lowering blood pressure.   Not comfortable with taking a supplement.

 

And I have started eating dark chocolate that is 86% cacoa.   My favorate solution:)

 

CS

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