Fluctuating blood pressure: I am currently on 10mg... - PMRGCAuk


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Fluctuating blood pressure

Reader7 profile image

I am currently on 10mg of prednisone for PMR, down from 40. A week ago, I felt light-headed and took my BP which was quite low...90/50. I took it again later...86/55. I thought my BP machine had malfunctioned, so took my husband's BP and was normal. Since I'm being treated for high blood pressure, I was afraid to take my medications. Other than that, I felt fine. BP made it back up to normal after another day. I took my BP yesterday, and it was up to 172/80, though it eventually went down to 138/80. So my question is, is this a manifestation of PMR or prednisone? Other than that, I feel fine, exercise every day and have no pain. I have an appointment with my internist this coming week.

6 Replies

I am not treated for high blood pressure, but my BP has fluctuated a lot from day to day even hour to hour between 180/100 down to 120/70. Sometimes different in different arms, though never the same arm higher than the other...if that makes sense.

My BP before PMR was stable at 120 to 130/70 ish. Not sure what the answer is though...PMR or pred? Or just me?

Someone a bit scientific will be along later.

I would definitely report this to your Internist. I had different readings consistently from each arm and was sent for an MRA scan on my Aorta. We can have more widespread Vasculitis that can show up on blood pressure readings.

PMRpro profile image

Your internist should order a 24 hour Holter BP monitor - to see what your BP is doing through the day/night. I am on BPs meds because of atrial fibrillation and I find that at lower doses of pred my BP can swing low briefly although overall it is OK. On at least 3 occasions for me the wild swings have been related to a flare in the PMR and an arrythmia worsening as a result. The arrythmia is almost certainly a result of the autoimmune part of PMR and originally I barely noticed it - it is definitely worsening. :-( But the recorders haven't really succeeded in getting a useful trace - just one single time when the BP measurement happened to coincide with a dizzy spell!!! Pure luck...

I was diagnosed with high bp 3 months before my PMR diagnosis and put on medication (the 24hr cuff test revealed levels as high as 192/98 while I was sleeping!). Both of my parents also had high bp.

A change in lifestyle (diet/weight loss, consistent exercise 2-3 times weekly, balance of rest and activity) I believe contributed to my bp levels dropping....so much so I got light headed/dizzy. Got permission to cut bp meds in half and monitor regularly, and since then (June), my bp seems to have levelled out. My GP did mention that folks immediately think they should reduce salt intake with a diagnosis of hypertension, however he did suggest that sugar and carb intake was just as important.

As PMRpro suggested, a 24 hr cuff test will provide great insight into you bp levels. Hopefully you get things stablized moving forward.

Not on BP meds but it does go up and down just as this PMR does. Ugh

I've always suffered from high BP from the age of 25yrs which has been stabilised well until I started on high dose pred in March 2014, I have GCA as well, but it has settled over the past three years until now - as I get lower - (on 4.5mg pred) it has started to rise. It fluctuates when it wants, no rhyme or reason, and I now have to monitor it monthly on Rheumie instruction. I also get palpitations which wake me up at night but other than that I'm fighting fit! Speak to your doctor it shouldn't be ignored. ATB.

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