Q. I am 43 years old and have had high blood pressure for 15 years. I have taken atenolol to control it until recently, when my doctor changed me to a water pill, hydrochlorothiazide.
I had a fasting blood sugar test and it was high (150) for the first time ever. Could my new blood pressure pill be causing diabetes?
A. Diuretics like HCTZ (hydrochlorothiazide) can raise blood sugar and trigger diabetes in susceptible people. Such drugs may also raise uric acid levels and bring on a gout attack.
Atenolol is a controversial first-line treatment for high blood pressure because of questions about effectiveness. There are, however, many other options to control blood pressure.
We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment so you can discuss both drug and non-drug approaches with your physician.