Does alcohol affect high blood pressure medications?

Written by maria richmond
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High blood pressure is a relatively common condition, and many people take blood pressure medication in order to control it. Any medication can cause side effects, and blood pressure medication is no exception. Alcohol can cause its own side effects, but coupled with certain blood pressure medications, it can have further negative results.

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Purpose of Blood Pressure Medication

For those who suffer from high blood pressure, exercise and diet may not be enough to control it. You may need to be prescribed a medication that helps to keep it lowered. There are several medications that fall into this category, and it all depends on your condition and which medication the doctor thinks will work best for you. High blood pressure medication helps to keep your blood pressure in normal range, which should be around 120/80 or lower. Anything higher can be considered either pre-hypertension or hypertension.

Alcohol Affects Blood Pressure

Alcohol in small quantities has been found to actually be good for the heart because it can help with circulation. But excessive drinking can have negative effects on the body, including the heart. High blood pressure medication is prescribed to a patient to help lower blood pressure. Alcohol does just the opposite -- it can raise the blood pressure. Because alcohol is a vasodilator, it opens up blood vessels rather than constricting them. This dilation can increase the pressure in your arteries and raise your overall blood pressure, which can have a negative effect on certain blood pressure medications.

Affects of Alcohol on Accupril

Most blood pressure medications can be affected by the use of alcohol. It is always best to check with your doctor first before having alcohol if you are on a prescription blood pressure medication. One blood pressure medication that is affected by alcohol is Accupril. Drinking alcohol while on Accupril can result in dizziness and lightheadedness.

Warnings With Amlodipine and Alcohol

Amlodipine is a blood pressure medication that decreases the excitability of the heart muscle. It keeps the contractions of the heart from being too intense or frequent. Alcohol can increase the effect of amlodipine, as well as lower your blood pressure even further. Alcohol intake on this medication can increase dizziness and fainting.

Considerations With Alcohol and Blood Pressure Medications

If you are taking blood pressure medications and plan on having alcohol, it is best to first speak to your doctor to find out if this will cause problems. All medications react differently with alcohol. You should never assume that even a small amount of alcohol is safe until you have first talked to your physician.

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