CFS and Medication For High Blood Pressure

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by harrysmom, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    I need some help figuring out what to do about taking Lotensin which is a med for hypertension. Even before I got CFS 13 years ago I took one drug or another for high blood pressure. Lately, though, this is becoming more and more of an annoying problem. Here's the thing: I have to take half a .25 Xanax to go to sleep every night. When I get up I feel halfway decent. So, I eat breakfast, feed the cats, clean up the kitchen, and take my meds. Within 45 minutes of taking the blood pressure medication I can feel myself sinking. It becomes hard to move, I feel heavy, and when I bend over to pick stuff up and stand back up I feel light headed. It takes me til late afternoon to come out of this stupor.

    My sister who is a medical assistant said to try half the dose of Lotensin so I did it for 5 days and felt somewhat better, but started getting paranoid that my pressure would get too high and so went back on the 20/25 dose and same old symptoms.

    It is so hard to function with the CFS and any energy is appreciated and taking something that makes me even more tired and lightheaded seems so counterproductive. I also take 80mg of Inderal in the evening and I seem to tolerate that. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions or comments. I am so sick of not being able to tolerate medications of any kind with the CFS and when my blood pressure gets up somewhere around 138/80 something my doctor gets so darn upset.

  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hi Harrysmom - I can sympathize with you as I see my dad going through the same thing with his blood pressure meds. He has been on them now for 10 years, and they ALL make him very sleepy a few hours after taking them. Some he just couldn't tolerate at all; they caused him to faint as his blood pressure would drop too low upon standing. The ACE inhibitors turned him into a complete zombie where he was totally unable to function, right down to practically stopping eating. The pills he is on now are the least bothersome, yet still, they cause him extreme sleepiness about three to four hours after taking them. He is a completely different person when not on the pills, unfortunately though, his blood pressure goes way too high without them (in the 180's).

    I have a friend who also had to try several different pills before she found one that didn't cause her to sleep all day. For her it was a matter of combining two pills. The one pill counteracted the affects of the other one.

    Have you tried bringing your blood pressure down with diet and supplements? Eating steel cut oats, a couple of bananas each day, taking magnesium, etc. For some people these things actually help quite a bit.

    Good luck to you. I don't know what I would do if I developed high blood pressure, because I know I don't want to take the meds.
  3. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    POTS/NMH which most of us with this disease suffer from can give false high readings. We actually read on the high side in doctor's offices. And it can lead to a misdiagnosis of high blood pressure, when in fact, the patient's pressure drops uncontrollably and causes many of our symptoms. So it's very important to make sure that you really have true high blood pressure and not POTS/NMH because those pills will definitely not work and make you far, far worse with faintness and fatigue.

    In my case, if my pressure is higher, which it has been lately, between 140 and 150, I'm not lightheaded and not as fatigued or weak at all. I feel much better with my pressure at this level. If it drops below this, I start to get sick and weak and lightheaded. For me, 140 to 150 is a good normal, but according to doctor's if it's over 120, it's too high.
  4. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I have had high blood pressure for years. I had severe headaches though and swelling in left arm. Swelling all over off and on till I got on hbp med.

    Harry's Mom I take avalide. The first 2 months I took it I would pass out or just fade...
    I could tell it was from the med. Then my body got use to it.
    I have days which are not very often for some reason I will do that now.
    I did it around Christmas but I can tell it is from the med.
    Works though my blood pressure is steady and good for once.

    What TeaBisqit says is interesting though. My doc tells me my hbp is hereditary my Dad had it.
    All of us have it but one sibling.
    Dad also had the ischemic strokes and then the big one.
    So I am scared to play around with that med.
  5. proteinlady

    proteinlady New Member

    When you say your blood pressure is around 138/80 something is that without any lotensin or with the reduced dose of lotensin?

    If it's without any lotensin, then 20 mg is too much and you should try 10 mg and monitor your BP throughout the day. 80 mg of inderal is a fairly high dose of beta blocker and that should have a blood lowering effect also. I don't mean to be nosey, but are you taking the inderal for migraines or do you need if for high blood pressure/heart problem? I ask because if you're taking it for heart or BP reasons, then a beta1 blocker has been shown to be more effective for these types of problems in clinical trials.
  6. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    Thank you for your response. the 138/80 something blood pressure reading is with the 20/25 dose of Lotensin. The Inderal was added for blood pressure a couple years ago when the doctor thought the Lotensin alone wasn't lowering the blood pressure enough. Often when I go in to see the doctor I am anxious and nervous.....I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder along with the CFS.....and I was getting readings of 150/90 and he was freaking out.

    The Inderal slows down my heart rate and actually makes me feel less anxious so I haven't fought the doctor on taking it, but I honestly think the current dose of Lotensin is creating problems and making my fatigue, heaviness, lightheadedness, etc. worse.

    This doctor has been patient with me and tries to take into consideration my illness when prescribing for other things like the occasional sinus infection or flu, but every time he tries to put me on something like a 500 mg antibiotic or a statin or whatever I just can't tolerate it so you can see what I'm up against....always going in and telling him I can't tolerate this or that or this dose is too big or people with CFs often can't take regular doses or have bad reactions to drugs, etc. You start to dread going in to the office for anything because it's always I[m almost having a panic attack, he's freaking out because he thinks my pressure is too high, he prescribes more meds or a higher dose, I go home and calm down and my pressure's fine, and he thinks I'm, well, I don't know what he thinks.

    Thank you for you comments.
  7. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    Thank you for responding.

    I eat oatmeal for breakfast and eat bananas, but not two a day. I take a magnesium and calcium supplement when my stomach can tolerate it. I try to move around the house as much as possible and try to get outside to fill a bird feeder or get the mail or water plants so at least I'm not a total couch potato. I could lose a few pounds, but with this CFS it's hard since you can't do real aerobic exercise and you can't just not eat because they you get into the low blood sugar things and get shaky and crazy. So....I dunno. I don't mind the fact I have to take something for lowering blood pressure, but I just don't want to take so much that I can't function.

  8. proteinlady

    proteinlady New Member

    I would take your BP several times a day: in the morning before taking lotensin, several hrs after taking lotensin, late afternoon, evening and keep a log of all the readings. This way you have documentation to take to the doc to show that you have reasonable BP through the day and the odd reading in his office is white coat syndrome. You can also take your BP cuff into the doc's office and have it compared to theirs. This will allow readings on your instrument to be compared directly to theirs.

    When you were taking lotensin by itself before the doc added the inderal were you feeling ok on it? If so, then maybe the doc can try lowering your inderal to 60 mg. That's still a sizeable dose and will still have an anti-anxiety effect.

    It sounds like you like the inderal so instead of the lotensin, he can try a diuretic, though those can be dicey since it can lower your blood potassium level too much and you will feel bad for a different reason.

    Lotensin is an ace inhibitor and since your not doing well on it, chances are you won't feel any better on a angiotensin receptor inhibitor.

    My brother was in the same boat as you. Both ace inhibitors and angiotensin receptor inhibitors made him feel bad. He ended up on a alpha blocker and did really well on it. Alpha blocker directly affects the diameter of blood vessels and controls BP that way. they can be taken with beta blockers and the combo may work well for you.

  9. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    I think what you've said makes a lot of sense and I will follow through with your suggestions.

  10. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    I have found beta blockers to work the best for me. I take 100mg Tenormin. One half in the a.m. and one half in the p.m. It's one of the older beta blocker drugs but very effective. I started out on 25 mg. about 20 years ago but had to gradually increase. Doctor tried to put me on other kinds but coundn't tolerate them.

    I also take 25mg. of a diuretic each day. This is working for now. Beta blockers seem to slow my heart rate down and make me feel calmer. After the first few days of a little drowsiness, I didn't have any side effects at all. GB66

  11. quanked

    quanked Member

    any reason why you cannot take your bp meds at night?
  12. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if there's a reason but in my case I take one in the morning and one in the evening. I guess it's to keep your blood pressure steady day and night. I know my bp is higher in the day time as a rule. GB66
  13. hensue

    hensue New Member

    Directions say in morning but I might try it at night. Could avalide be one of the reasons I feel the way I do?
    Now all of you have me wondering. I know it has a diuretic in it and I know I need it.

    Never really thought of the side effects now that I have been on it so long.


  14. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I would be up all night, what the heck we are up anyway. I am going to give it a try.
  15. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    My doctor said specifically to take the Lotensin in the morning and the Inderal at night. The Lotensin has a diuretic in it and if I took it at night I'd be up within an hour to use the bathroom and probably again and that would just be counterproductive since I take something to sleep at night so........also, I don't think taking both at once would do anything but make me feel realy strange and heavy when I did try to get up.

    And like some who responded about the beta blocker, I does make me feel calmer, too.