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High Blood Pressure

Controlled blood pressure, low pulse rate

08/20/2007

Question:

I have been taking BP medicine for 5 years. So my numbers average about 120/130 over 80-90. I recently noticed my Pulse has ranged from 50-60. I do take Ziac in the am and amlodopine in the evening. So I wanted to know what the low pulse rate could be. Should my BP med`s be changed, and is this influencing lower pulse rate. I weighed 267 in January, and have lost 15 pounds and wiegh 252 at this time so I have lost a little weight. Any advice is appreciated.

Answer:

It appears that your blood pressure is well controlled on your current regimen.  The fact that you lost 15 lbs. is very helpful, and further weight loss would improve your health even more.

You don't have to be concerned about a heart rate between 50 and 60.  As long as you feel well, a slow pulse is not harmful and may even be beneficial.  However, if your heart rate stays consistently below 52, you should considers stopping Ziac.  Ziac contains a beta blocker which can slow the heart rate.  You may want to replace the beta blocker with an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).  These drugs have been shown to protect from heart disease and stroke slightly better than beta blockers do.  They are available in combinations with diuretics (similar to Ziac), and can easily be combined with a calcium channel blocker like amlodipine. Please discuss this with your doctor.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati