Hypotension refers to blood pressure that is consistently 90/60 or lower. It has many causes! Some examples are blood loss, dehydration, septicemia, and anaphylaxis. Vitamin deficiencies, specifically in iron, folate, and vitamin B12, are another major cause! Seniors are a high-risk group, as are diabetes patients. Untreated, low blood pressure causes many problems. Examples are weakness, dizziness, and fainting. Patients often deal with brain and heart damage when their blood pressure is very low!
Treatment for hypotension often includes patients reducing their salt intake. Another effective natural remedy for low blood pressure is to drink more water daily! Compression stockings are also quite beneficial. However, medication for hypotension is often necessary. Patients need to understand the common options for medications first.
Fludrocortisone is a prescription corticosteroid! This medication is effective as a hypotension treatment. It treats Addison's disease in addition to this! The medicine works by reducing how much sodium the body gets rid of through urine. However, this drug is not suitable for patients with fungal infections. Patients also have to disclose certain health issues to their doctor before taking this medication. Examples include a history of stomach ulcers, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart problems! This medication is often unsafe for these patients.
Of course, this prescription has side effects! Common ones include water and salt retention and easy bruising. Two other common side effects are slow wound healing and stomach ulcers. Patients must tell their doctor about certain side effects right away, such as eye pain, blurry vision, severe pain in the upper abdomen, lower limb swelling, and seizures. They also have to do this for symptoms of low potassium! Signs of low potassium include leg cramps, muscle weakness, and fluttering in the chest.
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Midodrine is an effective medication for orthostatic hypotension. This refers to blood pressure that drops significantly when an individual stands up! This drug is quite helpful. It is an alpha-adrenergic agonist. It will energize the nerve endings in blood vessels, making the vessels tighten and blood pressure increase! Of course, this medication has side effects. Common ones are frequent urination, chills, skin tingling, and stomach pain. Less common side effects are dizziness, leg cramps, drowsiness, dry mouth, and insomnia!
Most patients take this medication three times daily. Each dose must be three hours apart, though the last one has to come before 6 p.m! Individuals cannot take this medication before bed or a nap. This is because it increases their blood pressure when they are lying down. Thus, doctors often recommend raising the head of their bed for sleep! This medication has several interactions. Examples are beta-blockers and alpha-blockers! Therefore, patients must tell their doctor about all of their current medications and supplements.
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Norepinephrine treats low blood pressure when it is life-threatening. Doctors provide it intravenously in emergency rooms and intensive care units. This medication also helps during cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Patients often receive this drug for sepsis. It also helps when their low blood pressure is the result of hemodialysis! Patients need to talk about their health history before taking this medication when possible. Examples of important issues are a history of asthma, diabetes, hypertension, sulfite allergies, and coronary artery disease.
Doctors will keep track of a patient's vital signs while they administer this medication as well as afterward. Two examples of important vital signs they must track are the patient's respiration and blood pressure. This medication damages tissue if it leaks from the patient's vein. Individuals on this medication must inform a nurse or doctor immediately about certain side effects. They include irritation and pain around the injection site, as well as cold skin or veins around this area! Patients need this medication until they start responding to their treatment. This often takes several days!
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Droxidopa treats neurogenic orthostatic hypotension! This occurs when the patient's autonomic system cannot regulate their blood pressure properly. Many conditions cause this to occur, such as Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy! This medication is offered orally as a capsule and works by narrowing an individual's blood vessels. Doctors start patients on a low daily dose and increase it gradually. This reduces side effects! Many patients take this medication three times in one day, though they must take their last dose at least three hours before going to bed. They are also limited to two weeks on this drug.
Of course, this medicine has side effects! The most common ones are nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Patients need to tell their doctor when these are persistent or severe. They have to contact their doctor immediately for certain side effects. Examples are lower back pain, cloudy urine, painful urination, and bladder pain! Patients on this medication have to monitor their blood pressure at home. They also have to keep their doctor informed of their results! Of course, their doctor will monitor their blood pressure during every appointment as well. This medication increases blood pressure when an individual is lying down. Thus, they need to elevate the head of their bed!
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Doctors administer phenylephrine when patients have low blood pressure during surgery. It is, of course, given intravenously! Patients need close monitoring on this medication, including blood tests. Unfortunately, this medication can cause necrosis. This refers to a depression under the skin at the injection site! This side effect, when it happens, is permanent. Patients must tell a doctor immediately if they experience this symptom. They also need to tell them about pain, peeling skin, or redness around the injection site. This is vital for blue-green or black skin discoloration as well!
Additional side effects of this medication include anxiety, stomach pain, and headaches. Others are reduced urinary output, nausea, and excess fluid in the lungs! Patients must inform their doctor or a nurse about all of these side effects if they experience them. In addition, they must disclose their current medications. This one interacts with many others. Two examples are linezolid and procarbazine!