Many people take drugs that interfere with their blood pressure pills
People who take pills to lower their blood pressure often take other drugs that reduce the pills’ effectiveness, a recent study suggests.
Researchers studied data on 521,028 adults prescribed blood pressure pills for the first time and 131,764 people taking at least four different pills to lower their blood pressure.
Roughly 18 percent were also taking drugs that make blood pressure pills less effective, the study found. These include medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, or hormones.
“In some cases, use of these blood pressure-interfering medications may be justified and the potential side effect of elevations in blood pressure may be acceptable to patients,” said study leader Andrew Hwang of the High Point University Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy in North Carolina.
“But in other cases . . . there may be significant opportunities to switch to alternative treatments or reassess the need for continuing the interfering treatment,” Hwang said by email. “If these drugs can be discontinued, it’s possible we can reduce the prescribing cascade – that is, reduce the need for using additional medication to treat a side effect of another medication.”
Patients may not realize the risks, the findings suggest.