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A Response To “Blood Pressure Meds – Are the side effects worth it?”

Written by Wellness Club on February 1, 2008 – 5:05 pm -

It never ceases to amaze me; the side effects from prescription drugs that people are willing to put up with – even consider to be a “benefit.” Here is an example:

Iggy writes:

I take Hytrin, mainly for my prostate, but my blood pressure was occasionally a little high. Fortunately, my only side effect has been that I sleep much better. Now 7 or 8 hours, compared to 3 or 4 before.
I believe I will add hawthorn to my supplement regimen as you recommend. I’ll be 69 in May.

Nurse Mark replies:

I have to congratulate Iggy on making it all the way to 69 years, in spite of the best efforts of conventional medicine.

The following is information taken directly from the government website MEDLINE regarding the drug Hytrin, aka terazosin:

Terazosin is used in men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), which include difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency. It also is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Terazosin is in a class of medications called alpha-blockers. It relieves the symptoms of BPH by relaxing the muscles of the bladder and prostate. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.

Terazosin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section are severe or do not go away:

  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • back pain
  • nausea
  • weight gain
  • decreased sexual ability
  • blurred vision
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours

Terazosin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

A few comments:

Terazosin looks to me for all the world like “A drug in search of an indication” – really not all that good at anything, but not dangerous enough to not be sold for something, so the drug companies are promoting it for anything and everything that they can think of. Therefore, any condition which might respond to increased small-vessel blood flow is “an indication” – fair game for a trial of this drug. I’m sure that Iggy is sleeping better – two of the top side effects are weakness and tiredness.

Hawthorn, which works by dilating (opening) coronary and peripheral blood vessels and improving oxygen utilization in the heart muscle is a great choice for Iggy, though if he uses it and then complains to his doctor then that his blood pressure is becoming too low, he will most likely be told to stop the Hawthorn so that he can continue to use the Big Pharma Drug!

Further, the proanthocyanidins (PCO’s) in Hawthorn have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and decrease the size of cholesterol-containing plaques in the arteries. This will not be popular with conventional medicine either, as it might cut into the profits they rake in from their expensive statin drugs…

For improved sleep, Iggy might want to try a more natural solution in the form of Melatonin taken before bed – it is an excellent antioxidant that should be part of any anti-aging and longevity program, and oh, by the way, it helps most people sleep better.

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