Am I experiencing a blood pressure med reaction?

I'll try to be kind of brief...

I'm 35 year old male, married w/ two precious girls (4yrs & 3yrs old).  About 6 years ago we discovered that I had high blood pressure while checking bp at my inlaws house.  We have high bp and high cholesterol in my family so we decided to go to "the families" cardiologist who sees all of my uncles/cousins, etc.  I was heavier back when this took place 6'6" / 260 lbs.  I feel that I was treated aggressively and had my dosage of bp meds increased yearly.  I started to get back into my exercise routine after putting on the excess weight and got back down to 215 lbs., but I'm still on high dosages of medicines.

Daily, I was taking: Ramipril 10mg, Amlodipine 10mg, Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg, Pravastatin 80mg {I took this combo for 3-4 years w/out any symptoms really}.

Two months ago,  I was experiencing chest discomfort and headaches....felt like I might faint.  My cardiologist couldn't see me so he told me to go to the Heart Hospital.  All tests (EKG, XRays, BP, etc) checked out.  Blood work came back with some irregularities (kidney levels, wbc, and troponin enzymes).  The nurse slipped up and incorrectly told me that since my troponin enzymes were elevated that I had suffered a MAJOR CARDIAC EVENT.  They kept me overnight and ran more tests after fasting and getting 2 i.v. bags.  My Cardiologist comes in the next day and tells me that I'm fine and that I was severely dehydrated from all of my exercising and from being on the diuretic (Hydrochlorothiazide) that he had me on.  I still felt bad so I demanded and angiogram.  He was hesitant, but did one anyway.  The angiogram showed 10% blockage in one artery but he was not concerned due to my family history and said that I will not have any problems if I keep up my exercise and diet/etc.  He tells me that he would remove the hydro from my meds and also remove the Amlodipine, but add an additional Ramipril 10mg at night.

I get out of the hospital and there was a mixup and somehow all of my meds were called back in to the pharmacy.  So for two weeks I took (2)-Ramipril 10mgs, (1)-Amlodipine 10mg, (1)-Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg, and (1)-Pravastatin 80mg.  This had me falling all over the place, dropped my bp really low and I could not function.  Finally after finding my hospital release paperwork and having a follow up with the Cardiologist we realized the problem.  He fixed my medication list and I'm now on just a Ramipril 10mg and an Amlodipine 10mg that's it, but I still feel "off".  I have constant headaches, I have feelings like if I have the flu but no real flu symptoms, I'm having anxiety and since I've been feeling bad and going through all of this I'm becoming depressed (not depressed with life, but depressed that I'm not better).

Anyone out there experience side effects of bp meds after taking them for years????

I started seeing a counselor and she thinks that I'm going through some PTSD or Anxiety from "thinking that I had a heart attack-mistake" and then having 2 weeks of hell from being overmedicated.


Looking for answers,

Scott for Louisiana

10 Replies

  • Additional Info:

    I had 7 blood panels run to check all of the essentials, lipid profiles, thyroids, complete blood count, etc.

    I've had a series of vertigo testings done by a specialist to eliminate vertigo since I was experiencing a lot of dizziness.

    I've had a CT-Scan done and that was normal.

    I wore a 24 hr heart monitor and that was normal.

    I feel normal when I run (which I do daily).  Normally 3-5 miles per day.  I also feel good sleeping and usually get at least 8 hours of sleep.  I also feel good after having a few beers while out at dinner, sporting event, etc.  I take my meds in the morning, could it be that they are beginning to wear off which gives me a little relief?

    I'm at my wits end with this.  I've never been an anxious or panic person, but people keep telling me that if all of the doctors are clearing me than it must be anxiety from the aforementioned events over the past 2 months.  I can agree that it was scary thinking that I may leave my wife and two young girls behind but I wouldn't think it would linger for months after being cleared???

    I just keep going back to a medicine / chemical problem that's keeping me off.

    thanks again for your understanding, support, help, etc.


  • Scott, Snap!  Some years ago I was also put through a gamut of unnecessary medication and kept in hospital for 16 days with a suspected heart attack confirmed by the troponin test.  On the 16th day an angiogram was carried out and didn't reveal any problems so I was discharged and eventually told that my troponin test had returned a false-positive result.  I came out of hospital feeling much worse than on admission due to two different types of BP pills and statins.  I then remained BP pill-free for some years but following a few shocks with the health of immediate family members, my BP soared and treatment was started.  In the last 18 months I have been trialled on 7 or 8 different BP pills and all of them have caused unbearable side effects.  I'm trying to stick with the latest pair but am now experiencing breathlessness, foot/ankle swelling and some muscle pain and stiffness after about 15 minutes walking.  I haven't been on them for years like you yet but am finding that the side effects of the latest pill that was added a couple of months ago are building.  I know plenty of people who take BP pills with no noticeable side effects - my hubby is one, although I am not convinced that his sudden collapse 18 months ago with total heart block necessitating a pacemaker is not down to the Amlodipine he takes, especially as our neighbour has had exactly the same experience.  I felt rough on Amlodipine and it caused varicose eczema on my lower legs, and at the time I read on a very reliable site (Brigham & Women's Hospital in the US) that Amlodipine should not be prescribed for women in particular as it could cause heart problems as a result of blocking the calcium - my consultant said that later research on this didn't come up with sufficient evidence.  As I know of 3 men who have had to be fitted with pacemakers whilst taking Amlodipine, I feel very suspicious.  I'm sure there are plenty of people taking this drug successfully but perhaps some people are just vulnerable

    Is your BP still high on both Ramipril and Amlodipine?  Could you perhaps cope with a lower dose if you BP is normal or below normal? 

    If you are having constant headaches, flu symptoms and anxiety then if could be the Amlodipine to blame - why not ask your GP to switch you to a different pill.......there are loads to try until you get one that suits you.  They always start with the cheapest!

    Meanwhile, perhaps some form of relaxation therapy might help with the anxiety.  A course on Mindfulness perhaps.  Tai Chi is also excellent.   

    Losartan Potassium has been the only one so far that doesn't cause me any discernible side effects and my pharmacist has told me that it is the one he hears the least complaints about from patients.  It's when they try adding a second pill that I get into difficulty.

    I do hope you feel better soon.


  • Thank you for relating your experiences Celtic and I'm sorry you've had such a difficult time.   

    I found the information on Amiodipine very interesting.  I am prescribed this and Losartan but found I could not tolerate the side effects of Amiodipine - heavy legs, extreme tiredness, etc. 

    Luckily, BP remains stable with just Losartan, which was recommended by others on HU after I'd tried many types of BP medication over the years.  

  • Thanks to both of you, I now realise that after being prescribed initial high doses of Nifedeprine and Amiodipine on being taken into hospital with dangerously high BP last November, I found myself with high anxiety levels and almost having panic attacks going out the door and having to drive.   I'm now sure this was down to Amiodipine, as these feelings have gone since I stopped taking it. 

    I hope you are able to find answers and feel better soon Scotto.

  • donot take amlodipin has more side effectsas per personal expeience .Take losartan only morning evening (6- 6) am/pm.If needed take more tablet.I am taking this medicine since2003 no side effects felt started 50mg( m e) now taking 25mg as per my doctors advice.Your problem seams to be anxiety so take additional tab for this . I am indian 72 yrs old with heart surgery+DM+HBP.Losarta 10mg is very mild dose which can go upto100mg per dose.

  • Have you thought about seeing another doctor for a second opinion maybe your anxiety is also caused from not trusting your doctor.

  • Have you been checked out for a pheochromocytoma? Sometimes a rare cause of high BP.

  • I was on amlodopine many years ago and it made me very ill, I couldn't even walk up a hill to work. My gp changed it to Doxazozin together with candesarten and bendrofluemethzide and I have been on those quite happily for 12 or so years, bp steady at 110/60. Have had bouts of vertigo but since stopping aspirin and leaving work and loosing weight thet have stopped. Could your anxiety be work related? Mine certainly was plus I have ITP and was told I was at risk of a stroke,

  • I have been on amlodopine for many years together with ramipril, doxazosin and bendroflumethiazide and have no problems with them.

  • I have been on medication for 30 years but after being diagnosed with AF my BP too went into orbit. I was tried by my hospital and GP on about 15 different medication but all had horrendous side effect with agreement with my GP I now take Indapamide 1.25mg (Diuretic) and Spirolactone 25mg (potassium sparing diuretic) and BP is 120/75 and I feel my normal self. It maybe not what my GP would recommend but diuretics are the only ones I can tolerate and they do the job of keeping my BP down.

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