7 Steps to Getting Off Your Blood Pressure Meds
As you may know, on May 27, 2011 I hosted a live on-line blood pressure chat. As promised, I want to answer some of the questions on the blog, because I know some of you weren’t able to attend. Plus, these important questions and answers certainly bear repeating.
Reader Question: I am on 5 mg of Nadolol and 1.25 mg of Amlodipine and I want to reduce the dosage as my blood pressure is now stable (120/80 for last 9 months). Do I reduce the dosage daily or can it be taken every other day at same dosage? These meds are supported by fish oil supplements, exercise, and a high plant and fruit diet.
My Answer: Good for you for holding steady at 120/80 for 9 months! Anyone considering tapering off of a prescription blood pressure medication must do so under the supervision of a doctor. So it is imperative that you work with your doctor as you move forward. You can discuss with your doctor the following strategies I’ve found helpful in the past:
1. I get my patients down to a low dose of the prescription drug.
2. I make sure my patients are exercising, keeping their weight down, maintaining lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure, are faithful to a sensible nutritional supplement regime, and can track their blood pressures daily at home for me.
3. I give them a blood pressure log to keep, with parameters on when they need to call me.
4. I schedule office visits every two weeks to track their progress carefully while they taper.
5. I halve the dose of medication for two weeks, and then check their blood pressure.
6. I halve the dose again for the second two weeks if the blood pressure is stable, then I check them again, and so on.
7. Should the blood pressure creep up, we may have to go back to the Rx dose that works and hold it there for a while longer.
Some folks may need low dose medication even when they do everything right. Most are successful if they adhere to the plan long term. I hope you are one of them! If you stick to a good lifestyle-oriented preventive program, you’re more likely to succeed.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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