The People's Perspective on Medicine

Multiple Blood Pressure Pills Add Up to Dangerous Dizziness

Q. I take amlodipine, lisinopril and metoprolol for high blood pressure. My readings are 115/56. I get terribly dizzy, especially when I first stand up.

My doctor says low blood pressure is not dangerous, but I feel bad and cannot function normally. Are there any other ways to control blood pressure that won’t make me so dizzy?

A. Low blood pressure can become a problem if it causes dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension). This can be quite hazardous, especially if it leads to a fall.

Dutch researchers found that when diastolic blood pressure is lowered below 70, brain shrinkage may result (JAMA Neurology, Aug., 2013). You should discuss your symptoms with your doctor and see whether you can modify your treatment program.

Our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment may help with that discussion since we offer many non-drug approaches to controlling hypertension. You may also wish to read this helpful blog entry by a geriatrician.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Download these eight pages on the pros and cons of the various medicines used to lower blood pressure. Details on non-drug approaches to blood pressure control such as diet, supplements and special foods.

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My wife and I are both over 70 and have heard that new research shows our blood pressure should not be a concern unless it is over 150/80. Can you tell me if this is true and if so where I can find that research?

Ok, Ok, now I’m worried! My blood pressure is naturally low, always has been. I was just in the doctor’s office and it was 100/64. Since my diastolic is usually below 70 does this mean I am in danger of brain shrinkage??? Does this finding only apply to people with high blood pressure taking medication to lower it?

Wow, that sounds familiar. Our idiot doctor wanted my husband’s pressure to be at 110/50. He was barely able to stay awake, hold a normal conversation or function normally in many other aspects. I read up on it and once again, it was the new recommended reading by the pharmacy companies. We switched doctors. The new one tossed out two of his pills and lowered the dosage on the remaining one. His pressure now reads on an average of about 130/75. I got my husband back! Follow what your own body and mind tell you and then switch doctors. Although they think so, they are not God.

Get a new doctor. Low blood pressure can be as bad as high blood pressure.

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