Two very common blood pressure medications have been found to increase your chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases almost 20%.
That’s exactly the diseases these drugs are supposed to prevent.
This is according to a new study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and published in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions.
Alpha blockers and alpha-2 Receptor Agonists already carry warnings that they may cause a fast heart rate and dizziness.
Alpha blockers directly relax the walls of your blood vessels, while alpha-2 Receptor Agonists reduce the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, which then allows your blood vessels to relax.
The researchers were originally interested in blood pressure reading variability, as many previous studies have found that blood pressure readings that are wildly different from one occasion to the next puts us at an increased risk of death.
In response, these researchers then wondered whether blood pressure medication could control variable readings, or whether they caused it.
To find out, they analyzed the information of over 10,500 people with high blood pressure, all of whom had had at least seven readings done between January 2007 and December 2011.
They followed them until 2016 and, in addition to their blood pressure readings, they also recorded the blood pressure medications they were on and subsequent cardiovascular events and instances of death.
Those patients on alpha blockers and alpha-2 agonists showed large differences in their blood pressure readings from one time to the next, and an increased risk of death in the subsequent five years.
For this reason, the scientists recommended against using these two drug types.
What’s more, in a study in the journal BMJ in 2016, researchers confirmed that people with variable blood pressure readings over the long term were 15% more likely than the rest of the population to die of any cause, were 18% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, were 18% more likely to suffer cardiovascular events, were 10% more likely to have coronary heart disease, and 15% more likely to have a stroke.
There are many brand names of Alpha blockers and alpha-2 Receptor Agonists. So if you’re in doubt, ask your doctor if you’re taking these types. Or simply google the brand name you’re taking and see if it one of those.
The fact is however that all blood pressure medications come with serious side effects.