Higher Risk Of Death When Taking Either Of These 2 Drugs


    It’s no surprise to say that high blood pressure (aka hypertension) puts people at major risk of heart disease. However, two classes of medications (which lower blood pressure) have certain risks all on their own.

    Scientists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, UT have been looking into this. They made the discovery that alpha blockers and alpha-2 agonists can actually increase blood pressure variability. This then increases mortality risk.

    The researchers came to this conclusion after assessing date from more than 10,500 adults (all with high blood pressure).

    Each participant had their blood pressure taken seven times between 2007 and 2011. They also said which type of blood pressure medication they were on at each visit.

    From there, the team of researchers began assessing links between variability in blood pressure levels and certain blood pressure medications.

    According to Medical News Today:

    Alpha blockers — which include doxazosin mesylate and prazosin hydrochloride — work by dilating the blood vessels. Alpha-2 agonists, such as methyldopa, work by targeting sympathetic nervous system activity, thereby reducing blood vessel constriction.

    Based on the study results, Dr. Clements and colleagues say that these two medications should not be used to treat hypertension.

    “Patients should know what their blood pressure is,” he says, “and if it’s up and down all the time, the patient should work with their physician to explore options for the best blood pressure medications that will reduce variances.”

    Dr. Clements states that if you’re looking to lower blood pressure, there are alternative treatments that are healthier. These include ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, thiazide diuretics and angiotensin receptor blockers.

    Clements adds that people who are on other types of blood pressure meds thereby are risking an increased chance of death.

    However, it’s important to note that the way a blood pressure measurement is taken can drastically influence the readings.

    According to Medical News Today:

    “[…] because of the variables that affect blood pressure measurements,” says Dr. Clements, “finding ways to more accurately measure blood pressure can better identify effective treatments for patients who have hypertension.”

    For accurate blood pressure readings, he recommends sitting or laying down for 15 minutes before measurements are taken. Avoiding stressful situations and using a well-fitting blood pressure cuff may also help.