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High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure

01/24/2008

Question:

My husband has blood pessure anywere from 87/57 to 120/80. He is on atenolol 25mgs each morning because he has congestive heart failure following a triple by-pass and stroke 8 years ago. He started atenolol about 2 years ago and seems to be getting weaker,expecially when BP drops down into the eighties. Could he take it at night instead of AM so he won`t be too weak to stand up during the day? Or should he take it at all with such low blood pressure?

Answer:

Hello and thanks for your question. I must first state that given the overall limited information I have (no fault of your own), and your husbands past medical and surgical history, that the following are only general recommendations. As far as the dosing (i.e. AM vs PM) this would be dependent on several factors including: how many times a day is he taking the med, what other medications (especially cardiovascular) is he taking. This is important due to the additive blood pressure lowering effects of multiple classes of blood pressure medications, and any activities he participates in which may be hampered by fatigue. You both should pose these questions to your cardiologist.

In regards to whether he should take atenolol at all, is again a question best answered by his cardiologist. I will state however, that there may be several factors as to why it may still be on-board despite his seemingly low pressures. There are several advantages of beta blockers such as atenolol in patients with known heart failure. In a nutshell, it reduces the workload on the heart.

I hope this has been of some assistance to you, and remember to stay in good communication with your care provider(s), and ask any and all questions you would like answered.

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Response by:

Kaine C Onwuzulike, MD, PhD Kaine C Onwuzulike, MD, PhD
Resident of Nuerological Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University