Treatment for Low Blood Pressure
If you are experiencing symptoms of hypotension, your doctor will usually recommend a treatment that solves the root cause of your low blood pressure.
It is important to know the underlying cause of your hypotension in order to be prescribed the correct medication or avoid medication completely. The most common factors that contribute to low blood pressure are dehydration, diabetes, depression and hypothyroidism. If treatment is established for these disorders and the symptoms of low blood pressure still exist, your doctor will them prescribe a specialist hypotension medication.
Medication for low blood pressure is normally only given as a last resort if other treatments, diet and exercise do not work. Medicines used to help normalize the blood pressure depend on the root cause of the hypertension. Here are some examples of medications that doctors may prescribe, how they work and any associated side effects.
Aspirin – Aspirin is well known for it’s ability to relieve the pain of headaches and reduce fever. Many people take an aspirin everyday to help reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
One side effect of taking aspirin is a small rise in blood pressure. This rise will only be small, this is why aspirin and other anti inflammatory drugs are used to treat only the mildest forms of hypotension.
Be careful when taking aspirin for hypotension, many cold and flu medications also contain aspirin, an overdose can be very problematic.
The rare but possible side effects of aspirin are, internal bleeding, renal damage, stomach sores, water retention, sickness skin rashes.
Eprex – Hypertension can be caused by a lack of red blood cells. Red blood cells make up a substance called hemoglobin, a reduced amount of hemoglobin causes the blood to be thinner, allowing it flow easier through blood vessels. This ease of flow causes low blood pressure. A person with a reduced amount of red blood cells will be classified as anemic.
Eprex kick starts the production of hemoglobin, this increases the amount of red blood cells, leading to higher blood density. Increased density means that the blood will not be able to flow as easily through blood vessels, this causes blood pressure to rise.
Side effects of Eprex can include lethargy, weakness, muscle pain and headaches.
Fludrocortison – Too much salt in the body and blood pressure levels will be high, too little and they will be low. Fludrocortison helps to regulate salt levels ensuring the body has the right amount it needs to maintain a normal blood pressure.
This drug also helps to increase the production of blood, more blood in the circulatory system helps to raise blood pressure levels.
Side effects of fludrocortison may include swollen joints, nausea, migraine and an increase in bodyweight.
Midodrine – Low blood pressure can be caused by blood vessels being too wide. Imagine connecting a tap to a hose, the pressure of the water coming from the hose can be increased by placing your thumb over the hose’s tip. By placing your thumb over the tip, you are reducing the amount of space the water has to flow out, this increases the pressure. The same is true for our circulatory system, reduce the amount of space the blood has to flow and the blood’s pressure will rise.
Midodrine causes the blood vessels to constrict and prevents them from expanding again, causing blood pressure levels to climb.
The side effects of midodrine can include heart palpitations, skin irritation, migraine, sleepiness and impaired vision.
All of these medications can be complimented with sodium and caffeine.
Sodium – More commonly know as salt, sodium has a constricting effect on blood vessels. Your doctor may prescribe sodium tablets or suggest that you add more salt to your meals. Sodium sports drink are also available, these are a convenient way of consuming extra sodium.
If you are going to increase your sodium intake be sure to use iodised salt. This is salt with the addition of iodine, iodine is necessary as too much sodium can have an adverse effect on the thyroid gland
Caffeine – Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee, tea, cola and many other drinks. Caffeine pills are also available, these are very popular with students cramming for a test and night shift workers.
Caffeine can cause short term spikes in blood pressure levels. However, be careful, caffeine is a diuretic. Diuretics stimulate urination, sodium is expelled from the body through urination, losing too much sodium will actually lower blood pressure levels.
Other side effects of caffeine include, insomnia, hot flushes, jitters and lack of concentration.
I hope you have found this information about medication for hypotension useful. Please consult your doctor before starting any course of treatment.