From pain relievers to stimulants, certain medications and supplements can affect your blood pressure. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as supplements, can raise your blood pressure. Some may also interfere with medications intended to lower your blood pressure. Here are some medications, supplements, and other substances that can raise your blood pressure. If you use any of these substances and are concerned about the effects it may have on your blood pressure, talk to your doctor.
Certain painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can cause you to retain water, which creates kidney problems and raises your blood pressure. Here are some examples:
– Aspirin, and ibuprofen (Advil, others)
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your doctor what is the best pain medication for you. If you need to continue taking pain medication that raises your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you change your lifestyle or take additional medication to control your blood pressure.
Antidepressants work by changing your body’s response to chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, which affect your mood. These chemicals can also cause an increase in blood pressure. Here are some examples of antidepressants that may raise your blood pressure:
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
– Tricyclic antidepressants
– Fluoxetine (Prozac, others)
If you are taking antidepressants, have your blood pressure checked regularly. If your blood pressure is rising or not well controlled, ask your doctor about alternatives to these medications.
Birth control pills and other hormonal forms of birth control contain hormones that can raise your blood pressure by narrowing small blood vessels. Almost all birth control pills, patches and vaginal rings come with warnings that high blood pressure can be a side effect. The risk of high blood pressure is higher if you are over 35, overweight, or smoke.
Not all women will have high blood pressure due to the use of hormonal contraceptives. But if you’re worried, get your blood pressure checked at least every six to twelve months. If you already have high blood pressure, consider using another form of birth control. Although almost any birth control pill can raise your blood pressure, choose a birth control pill or device that contains a lower dose of estrogen.
About 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure.
Caffeine blocks a hormone that keeps your blood vessels open, allowing blood to pass easily. This can temporarily raise blood pressure. It can also lead to increased production of cortisol and adrenaline, which speed up blood circulation and cause blood pressure to rise. However, there is not enough evidence to establish that caffeine increases your blood pressure in the long term.
Here are some examples of medications and products that contain caffeine:
– Caffeine pills
– Energy drinks and other beverages
The caffeine content of coffee can vary widely, so it’s hard to say how many cups of coffee you can drink per day. Also, some studies suggest that coffee may contain a substance that lowers blood pressure, thus counteracting any stimulating effects.
To find out if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your blood pressure about 30 minutes after drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure rises five to ten points, you may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine on blood pressure.
Cold medicines (decongestants)
Decongestants narrow blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow and raising blood pressure. Decongestants can also make some blood pressure medications less effective. Here are some examples of decongestants:
Check the label of your cold or allergy medicine to see if it contains a decongestant. If you have high blood pressure, it’s best to avoid decongestants. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter cold products for people with high blood pressure.
herbal food supplements
Be sure to tell your doctor about any herbal supplements you take or plan to take, to see if the supplement might raise your blood pressure or interact with blood pressure medications. Here are some examples of herbal supplements that may affect your blood pressure or blood pressure medications:
– Arnica (Arnica montana)
– Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
– Ephedra (ma-huang)
– Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius and Panax ginseng)
– Guarana (Paullinia cupana)
– Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
– St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Herbal supplements are not necessarily safe because they are natural. Consult your doctor before taking herbal supplements. You may need to avoid supplements that raise your blood pressure or interfere with your blood pressure medications.
Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, others), can cause your heart to beat faster or irregularly, which raises your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked regularly if you are taking a stimulant. If your blood pressure is rising or not well controlled, ask your doctor about alternatives to these medications. He or she may recommend lifestyle changes or additional medications to control your high blood pressure.
Illegal drug warning
Street drugs can raise blood pressure by narrowing the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This increases your heart rate and damages your heart muscle.
Here are some examples of illegal drugs that can affect your heart:
– amphetamines, including methamphetamine
– Anabolic steroids
If you are using illegal drugs, it is important to stop. Ask your doctor about addiction counseling or treatment programs.