How long for meds to work?

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I have recently started bp meds.I started at around 165/90 and Coversyl did not reduce my bp enough or for long enough (I got to 145/85 for around 4 hours per day). Telmisartan got me down to 140/80 for around 6-8 hours per day. This has now been combined with amlodipine which looked promising for the first 3 days - I was getting readings from 110-120/80 for a good few hours and staying below 140/85 for 12 hours then it seemed to stop working and I cant get below 140 and after 8 hours it climbs back again. I feel rough and am worried that I can't get my bp under control. Any advice?

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  • Posted

    Every one worries when they are told they have hypertension and that just puts it up. Did your GP put you straight on medications from one reading? Usually they want to check it a few times over several weeks and try lifestyle changes first.

    Some people despite medication never get their BP under control but remember BP cannot be constant 24/7 it varies during the day and night depending on activities, stress and stimulants like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine etc. 

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    • Posted

      I first had some issues with it on 2000, so bought a home monitor to check it and brought it under control with lifestyle changes. My current lifestyle is the best it has been - my diet is really good, I go to the gym every day and I have lost 9kg but my BP just started to go up. I am 54 so I wondered if it was hormonal. If I can't control it with meds then I don't see the point in taking them.
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    • Posted

      I had the same problem as you. My BP was a steady 110/70 for most of my life, then went up to 150/90 in my mid-50s, following the menopause. My then GP immediately reached for the prescription pad, but I never took the calcium channel blocker she prescribed. Instead, I lost a bit of weight - though not as impressively as you! - and put myself on magnesium 375mg per day. Within a few months my BP was down to 120/80, and stayed there for the next 15 years.

      Unfortunately I'm now getting age-related systolic hypertension, although I'm still taking magnesium. My systolic isn't dangerously high - rarely above 140 - but the diastolic is often down to about 60. In the old days everyone thought the lower the diastolic the better, but increased pulse pressure (i.e. the difference between the two values) is now viewed as a sign of atherosclerosis. It shouldn't be more than 40 and 50+ is considered serious.

      Fortunately my current GP is not a medication freak, and also acknowledges that all hypotensive meds lower both values, which wouldn't be good for me. I'm working on this one. Like you, I have a pretty good lifestyle, but there's still room for improvement in my case. I'm currently stepping up my exercise a bit and cutting back slightly on my intake of wine and carbs. I don't eat sugar or junk foods, use very little salt, have never smoked and am not overweight. My current position is that I'll take BP medication when hell freezes over. I'm a former nurse btw.

      Just to make clear, I'm not suggesting everyone follows this route. Clearly, if a 25-year-old has a BP of, say, 200/140 (which one poster on these boards recently reported) then medication is probably going to be necessary. But the situation is different when it's a middle-aged or elderly person with moderately raised BP. Our kidneys don't have to last as long!

      Incidentally, on my last GP visit he and I were going over my latest blood work. He kept exclaiming over my renal function results, which he said were amazingly good for a 72-year-old. He said I had the kidneys of a 20-year-old woman. I said I'd rather have the face and figure of a 20-year-old woman, to which he replied that at my age efficient kidneys were more use than good looks! He sure knows how to flatter a gal...

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    • Posted

      About three months I think - it was a long time ago. But you definitely won't get results in a few days. It doesn't work like that, it has to build up in your system. You can take it alongside the amlodipine though. Quite a few people on these boards combine magnesium with a low dose of BP meds. I think you're in the UK, where you can get magnesium in convenient format at the "Big B" (I don't think they allow advertising on here). They do the daily 375mg dose in two tablets so you can start with a half-dose if you want to try it. I'd advise that anyway as magnesium causes diarrhoea in some people, though that's its only side-effect provided you don't OD on it.
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    • Posted

      My lifestyle and diet were good and I walked miles every day as I don't drive. I stopped sugar and salt in 1983 and seldom eat prepared food. I even stopped smoking in 1993 but in 2000 I suddenly had hypertension.

      Medications did not help it and possibly did harm as all caused side effects and I did not have a slow heart rate or irregular beats until after being on Verapamil.

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  • Posted

    Also I don't smoke or drink and I have now given up coffee.
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  • Posted

     i would,nt beat yourself up trying to stay below 140 your bp naturally fluctuates during the day .you dont say how old you are? remember it was,nt that long ago that the safe figure was 150 

     

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    • Posted

      I sometimes wonder about that too, Derek. And it would also keep me well within limits. Not only could I boast the kidneys of a 20-year-old, but the systolic BP of a 40-year-old. I'm feeling younger by the day!cool

      Even back in the 1960s and 70s, when I was in the business, we were much more forgiving about high systolic BP than we are now, though high diastolic was always a cause for concern.

      Seems to me that life expectancy hasn't gone up drastically in the past 40-50 years, in spite of all the medication (hypotensives, statins, diabetes type 2 meds etc.) that's pumped into us silver foxes these days. Much of it is prescribed just on the basis of slightly raised values too, or even as a matter of policy in the absence of any signs at all - e.g. statins and, increasingly, hypotensives.

      And I've long suspected that even the significant improvement in life span in the course of the 20th century was down more to public health measures (sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, abolition of poverty) than medication. Though we seem to be going backwards on nutrition these days, with the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for all your comments. I am 55 and hardly ever eat processed food - a keen cook, I make everything from scratch. Today my starting reading is 145/88 which is the best it has been in the morning pre-medication. Maybe I am just impatient. I also think that hypertension is self-perpetuating - I worry about it, which raises my BP. Maybe meditation and yoga would be a good approach. x
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    • Posted

      TM has been proven to work for many people. But not everybody. I tried it for nearly five years, so gave it a decent shot, but every time I ended up wanting to scream and run around the room! Didn't have a home BP monitor in those days, but I'm sure it went up during the sessions.

      Worth a try though.

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  • Posted

    Interesting comments about life expectancy Lily - I sometimes wonder if the people at the top pulling the strings are just trying to make the pharmaceutical companies rich.
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    • Posted

      I'm 82 and have had my labile hypertension for 16 years. In the past week I have had a high of 184/103 and a low of 90/62. I do sometimes still get 210/114 as I did in 2000.

      Every consultant has a different answer and I no longer worry about it.

      The consultant at the Hypertension Centre probably had the best guess... You are not truly hypertensive but have peaks so all the meds you have had have given you greater than usual side effects.

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