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High Blood Pressure

Nightly high blood pressure

08/31/2009

Question:

For almost 2 years I have had high blood pressure each night. I also have many food sensitivities, which is how my high blood pressure started and why I am on prescription. I take 40 mg. propanolol in the a.m. and the p.m. both. During the day my blood pressure is low: 116/77 or 130/80. At night it goes up to 176 or higher over 94. I take minerals to bring it down but am most miserable.

I wake up with pressure in my head and I know my bp is up. Sometimes I have weird dreams because of it.

Thank you for your help. I have been to many drs. with no answers.

Answer:

It is not clear why your blood pressure goes up at night, but stress or anxiety may play a role.  At any rate, you would be better off taking a long-acting (once-a-day) medication.  The beta blocker that you are taking (propranolol) obviously does not prevent your nighttime blood pressure spikes and should be changed.

In your case, you may consider taking a drug like lisinopril or valsartan instead of the propranolol.  Also, an anti-anxiety drug like alprazolam may help you sleep and prevent some of the blood pressure rise.

In some cases, anti-depressants like citalopram or escitalopram can help, even if the patient is not clinically depressed.

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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