Advice from Experience

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Hello, perhaps l could ask others who have been on meds for hypertension for their experiences. About a year ago, just after retiring from work, l commenced meds for elevated bp (average 145/94) l'm male & coming up to 60 years old. l have had slightly raised bp for probably the last 20 years & have managed this by a good diet, regular excercise & cutting down on salt etc.

Meds started with 5mg of Amlodipine, with little side effects, though it didn't reduce bp sufficiently. Upped it to 10mg & started to feel spaced out, detached, aching joints & swollen ankles. Changed to Filodipine with the same result. 

Then to 10mg of Filodipine & 2.5mg of Indapamide Side effects with the introduction of Indapamide were particularly bad. 

Anyway, long story short after a GP visit on the 02/12/16 l commenced on 5mg of Amlodipine & 2.5mg of Ramipril. On this regime, the side effects are still prominent, in fact worse, zoned/spaced out, headache particularly in the morning, limbs seem to be heavy & no motivation to excercise. Bp is still around 133/91.

l think l've given each medication time for my body to adjust.

l would be gratful for opinion & other peoples experience. Am l being a wimp here, or should l expect a better quality of life outcome being on medication? l feel like telling the GP l intend to stop meds & take the risk of stroke/heart disease etc. Thanks

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  • Posted

    Sallyside..I do not believe you are being a wimp but simply saying how you are feeling. Felodipine is a calcium channel blocker, as is Amlodipine so I don't understand why you were given that medication unless there's a bit of a difference between the two, which I've never heard of. Swelling is a common side effect of Amlodipine, especially with anything above 5mg, but a lot of people have the swelling just on the 5 mgs. A few years ago, I was ok with 5mg...then my Dr. decided to up the dose to 10mg...I have been trained since then that doubling the dose doesn't resolve a numbers issue. My cousin takes Amlodipine 5mg...her bp was spiking in the afternoons, so her doctor asked her to split the tablet in half..

    take 1 half in the morning, then the other in the afternoon. That did the trick!

    When I was on the 10mgs...within days my feet, ankles, & legs below the knee were badly swollen, so my doctor had to change the medication. Now, you're back on the Amlodipine at 5mg...key wording here is "Amlodipine". BP at 133/91..hmm...the systolic number is good (133), but the diastolic (91) isn't so great. You COULD suggest to your doctor that you get rid of the Amlodipine, up the dosage of the Rampiril or even better, try Coversyl with a diuretic.

    These are just suggestions for you...but again, I'm certainly not a doctor, but have been through the ringer with a cockey know-it-all young doctor. Thank goodness I went back to my doctor I had for over 30 years. What he says...I believe. Good luck...let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the prompt response & advice. As you say, if we are going to be on meds, then you want them to be effective with the least side effects possible.

      l know you are giving your advice as a lay person, though you're coming from experience, which is important.

      l've researched all the bad reports regarding Amlodipine & have in mind, as you suggest discussing with the GP, stopping this & up the Rampiril, though isn't an ACE alone for under 55's?

      As Coversyl is again an ACE is this any better than Rampiril?

      My experience with a diuretic (Indapamide) wasn't too good.

       

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    • Posted

      Sallysid..who says an ACE is for people under 55????  Rampiril IS an ACE.

      As for the diuretic, you don't need to have Idapamide. You can ask the Dr. for plain Coversyl & a diuretic seperately, i.e. Hydrochlorathiazide 12.5mg.

      Coversyl..at least here in Canada comes in 4mg, 6mg & I think 8mg., but if you ask for the Coversyl Plus HD, it will have the Idapamide diuretic in it, which is not what you want..so be sure to make enquiries about the plain coversyl.

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    • Posted

      Mike, UK GP's generally follow a 4 step approach. First line meds for over 55' s are a calcium channel blocker or a diuretic. Only at stage 2, if bp is not controlled, will a second drug be introduced, an ace or diuretic. Then onto stage 3, where you will have all 3. Stage 4 is the use of second line meds such as beta blockers etc if bp is not controlled. I believe the over 55 issue is something related to kidney function & the use of ace meds. Have a look on http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/

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  • Posted

    We are all so different and what suits one does not suit another. I have tried many over the years and the only two not to give me bad side effects were Verapamil SP and Losartan.

    145/94 is not that high (except under ever moving goalposts) and really you should not need much to get bring it down. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Sallysid: You are not alone and not a wimp.  Unfortunately it seems that all bp meds have some nasty side effect or another for many people.  I've been going through similar problems as you.  Since I was dignosted with very high bp in 1999 (211/126, female, 60+), I'm still having a problem finding a bp med with tollerable or no side effects (probably doesn't exist) and lowers bp to an acceptable level.  I've tried many pills in the various classes; Lotensin, Covera, Verapamil, Cozaar, Hyzaar, Triamtrerene, Diovan, Diovan HCT, Valsartan, Lopressor, Lopressor HCT, Atenolol/Chlorthal, Metoprolol ER Succinate, Metroprolol Tartrate, and Carvedilol.  Yikes!  I either get side effects I can't deal with or pressure isn't low enough.  The Carvedilol (25 x 2 daily) was working for a couple of years but recently, for some reason, it's not.  My upper number keeps reading in the high 150's-170, lots of fluxuations throughout the day.  Although I was on the highest recommended level of Carvedilol, my doctor had me try 3 pills daily and I felt simply awful (dizzy, headache, achey, less pee).  We then tried 2 1/2 pills daily but it didn't bring pressure down low enough.  Also, while being on this beta blocker I noticed my hair got noticeably thinner, crusty scalp, eye changes (double vision in one), worse tinnitus, joint pain, low platete count, and chest tightness.  Time to get off the beta blocker.  I am currently weaning off it and trying Amlodipine Besylate.  My doctor is practically at a loss as to what other bp med that might work for me and may refer me to a cardiologist.  This uncontrollable high bp thing is scaring the b-jezzes out of me as I might be at risk for a stroke/heart attack while messing around with all these meds.  I also went through tests for heart disease which turned out fine.  BUT then my doctor said the tests can't always detect heart disease--ah, OK...  I will let you know if I ever get this problem under control--without nasty side effects.  My best to you.

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    • Posted

      Hello LynnG, thank you for the email. Wow that's a long list of meds you've tried there. In a way its comforting to know that its not just me. l'm in the same boat as you, Amlodipine 10mg certainly brought the bp down, but the side effects. l have an appointment with the GP in March & was going to suggest a beta blocker, though it would seem your experience isn't too hot.

      l may even wean off meds & see what happens, though like you, l'm concerned as to the risk of stroke etc.

      High bp is a pain!

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    • Posted

      Sallysid..I certainly respect how you're feeling..not great, but whatever you do, do NOT wean yourself off bp meds. It's the worst thing you can do.

      You've got the right idea by seeing your doctor.

      You mentioned the side effects of taking 10mg Amlodipine. What are those side effects?...swollen feet/ankles, legs? That's very common, especially with the higher doses. I had the 5mg, but it really didn't do much where the bp numbers were concenred. On the 10mg., my feet/ankles/legs were swollen which meant I had to come off the Amlodipine.

      Go to the GP, have a good talk wih him/her...I'm sure you'll find a med that suits you. What about Doxazosin?.. You could take 1mg Doxazosin & 50mg Atenolol (beta-blocker). Remember, what one person experiences, doesn't mean others will. Our bodies are all different.

      Please let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Side note; do your research on beta blockers before going on one.  I recently discovered that a beta blocker is the only bp med that could cause invasive breast cancer.  However, some say yes it does and others say no.  But it's still cause for concern--especially since I got invasive breast cancer in 2012--coincidence???

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    • Posted

      Hello Mike, same story as you with Amlodipine. As previous thread, l'm concerned as to risks of coming off meds, but equally l don't want to live with side effects. I will go have a good chat with the GP & perhaps its time to look at alpha/beta blockers. Do you know many people who are on both at the same time?

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    • Posted

      Hi Rocky 31676. You say here you prefer diet, exercise and yoga to medications. Of course you need to do this to help high blood pressure. Did you have hbp, take meds, etc. before working out? Did it get rid of the hbp? Ive tried 14 different meds over the last 3 years. Nothing brings down the blood pressure. I just joined a gym and am walking and going to try yoga too. I have not worked out since I had my son 10 years ago and have gained weight. Tried another medicine a week ago and bp went up. I told my dr to set up an appointment with a dietician. I'm sick of being fat ( about 40 lbs overweight) and sore! Thanks

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    • Posted

      Yes, it has worked for me with diet, yoga and exercise, but this was some years ago. This would work when you would keep up with the strict schedule and regularly do this for 6-12 months before the positive results will show in your BP/hypertension readings. However, it still beats the side effects from BP medications that you have already experienced may not work. 
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    • Posted

      Yes! Thank you for your positive results! I'm going to loose weight and exercise. I broke my foot and have been unable to walk a lot the last year and a half. Just now I'm able to start exercising again. Thank goodness! 6-12 months huh? Thanks

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