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Getting Off (Or Avoiding) Blood Pressure Meds

Posted 01/05/2015

If you’re currently taking a blood pressure medication OR your doctor has remarked that she’ll be keeping an eye on your “borderline” high blood pressure OR high blood pressure runs in your family and you have concerns about it, please read this Health Tip closely. The issues surrounding blood pressure are far more complicated than you might guess.

Importantly, your doctor, who we can safely assume intends the best for your health, may be basing her recommendations and prescribing your medication on what she may not know is actually some very controversial information. She simply may not be aware that she’s starting you on what could be decades of inappropriate medication for a condition you don’t really have…and one that isn’t even dangerous to your health.

In fact, based on new government guidelines in which your doc is paid less by insurance companies for failing to reach certain clinical goals (like getting your blood pressure down to a designated low number), she may be encouraged to prescribe more meds for your potentially non-existent elevated blood pressure. Read that sentence a couple of times and let it sink in. It means if your blood pressure is not at a particular “normal” level AND your doctor has failed to give you medication to reach that level, she can be financially penalized, even if your actual blood pressure level is totally harmless to your health. Tell me that’s not just a little bit spooky.

Part One: what exactly is “normal” blood pressure?
This simple question is actually fraught with controversy, backbiting, scandal, and truly egregious self-serving behavior on the part of highly placed–and highly paid–physicians, drug companies, and apparently neutral organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). For an idea of how the answer to this question has shifted, if you have some spare time take a look at this piece, which examines the scope of change in high blood pressure treatment over the course of a decade.

If you remember what I wrote about statins and high cholesterol–that lowering the number for ideal cholesterol meant an increase of multiple millions of statin users–precisely the same sequence of events has occurred with high blood pressure meds.

Over the years there have been numerous studies, all but one financially supported by the pharmaceutical industry, to determine a risk-free blood pressure number. When I was first in training, I learned that blood pressure levels normally rose with a person’s age. The magic formula we were taught? The systolic reading (the top number) was 100 plus your age. The bottom number should be 90 or lower.

Thus, a healthy blood pressure for a 50-year-old could be 150/90. Basically, you started treatment when someone’s blood pressure was 160/100 or higher. I remember one professor saying he preferred 160/95.

But then a series of studies began to appear in the US and Europe saying that the risks for heart disease and stroke increased if that formula (100 plus your age) was followed, and the ideal blood pressure was reported as 120/80, with treatment beginning at 140/90. And here’s where the controversy began.

Change the number, create a patient
Although data did show that patients with consistent blood pressure higher than 140/90 were at some risk for heart attack and stroke, there was not much evidence that using more meds to drive the blood pressure further down–to that magic 120/80–really prevented much of anything. And it certainly increased pill taking, side effects, and symptoms due to blood pressures actually dropping too low.

From Big Pharma’s perspective, “change the number, create a patient” is an important phrase, possibly a central tenet:

  • Bringing total cholesterol down to an ideal number anywhere below 200 with an LDL (the bad cholesterol) below 70 hits the financial jackpot. These strict guidelines will increase the number of potential statin users from 12.8 to 48 million.
  • Adjusting “ideal” blood pressure from 160/100 to 140/90 added 13.5 million new drug users. Trying to medicate people with 140/90 BP to even lower levels will add tens of millions more pill swallowers.

Added to the problem of changing the standards of what constitutes high blood pressure and what does not, doctors are well aware that most people get anxious in the doctor’s office and this itself drives up blood pressure. Called white-coat hypertension, this phenomenon has resulted in tens of thousands of utterly unnecessary blood pressure prescriptions.

I don’t mean now to deliberately trigger your TMJ, but it turns out that virtually every lead investigator of the studies that pushed blood pressure “normals” to lower levels had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, as did (and does) the FDA and WHO.

My take on normal blood pressure
So what’s normal? Most doctors agree it depends on the individual’s situation.

Let’s call 145/95 (taken at home, not in the doctor’s office, over a number of days) borderline high blood pressure.

If there are no other risk factors (smoking, overweight, diabetes, previous heart issues), I start treating at this point or anything higher with salt restriction and stress reduction, including yoga, tai chi or meditation. If there are risk factors such as those just listed, I’ll prescribe a medication and discuss the lifestyle changes outlined below.

Very high blood pressures, like 160/110 or higher, do require prompt pharmacological intervention.

Part Two: which medication?
Here’s where the infighting among physicians gets nasty. It turns out that every study that had drug money behind it recommended one or more drugs that were newly released at the time and therefore high-priced: beta blockers initially (like Inderal), then angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors such as Lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs such as Cozaar), and amlodipine (Norvasc).

But each of these had side effects and were often prescribed in various combinations, increasing the number of possible side effects. Also, driven by that artificially low magic number of 120/80 or lower, some people simply felt poorly having such low blood pressures. The meds didn’t magically place you right at 120/80. Sometimes they overshot the goal. For example, a blood pressure of 90/60 can make many an adult feel woozy and lightheaded.

(This from a patient: “My dad is on three blood pressure meds. He has to stand up real slowly or he gets lightheaded and once fainted.”

The only study with no drug money behind it, the ALLHAT study (short for Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial), found that the oldest of the blood pressure meds, water pills called diuretics, were the very safest and had the very best outcomes for stroke and heart attack prevention.

Yes, there was fury.

Physicians receiving financial largesse from Big Pharma looked mightily for flaws in the ALLHAT study. The drug companies ran full-page ads in the Journal of the American Medical Association basically tweaking ALLHAT data in an attempt to prove their branded drugs were just as good as diuretics. But they weren’t. Diuretics were best.

With this background, what should you do?

  1. If you’re already taking blood pressure meds, work with your doctor when it comes to medication adjustment. Quitting or reducing blood pressure drugs is not a DIY project. If your physician doesn’t recommend going off your medication, ask him or her if you can be switched to a diuretic.
  1. If you don’t have your own blood pressure measuring device, buy one. It must be one that measures from your upper arm (not your wrist or finger), and if you’re obese be sure to get an extra-wide cuff. Take your blood pressure three to four times a week at the same time of day. Record all readings and bring them to your doctor. This will eliminate the white-coat hypertension issue.
  1. Seriously live by the DASH diet, which (don’t be shocked) emphasizes veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, and poultry and limits salt, sugar, and red meats. Nibble celery, proven clinically to lower blood pressure.
  1. If you’re in the group of patients with severe high blood pressure–diastolic (bottom number) of 110 or higher–and your blood pressure is controlled on meds, stay on them. If you’re on several blood pressure medications and your at-home readings are good, your doc may at least be able to trim the number of meds you take.
  1. If you have mild high blood pressure and are on medication, or you’re borderline and your doctor is considering putting you on medication, be proactive. Lose weight, stop smoking, begin regular exercise, and reduce your salt intake. Learn stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi. Consider getting (and using!) a portable Resperate unit (which costs about $99 online), the only biofeedback device FDA-approved for high blood pressure.
  1. If, after your best efforts, you can’t budge your BP below 145/95, try taking two natural products in addition to your medication: Vasophil, containing the amino acid arginine, precursor of nitric oxide, which opens blood vessels (start with one capsule twice daily, increasing to two capsules twice daily if needed) and CoQ10 (UBQH 100 mg daily).
  1. If you do need a prescription med, start with a diuretic (Hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg daily or Dyazide one daily or Furosemide 20 mg daily).

Just don’t be a victim of the several superficially unbiased (but actually highly biased!) organizations that have their best interests, not yours, at heart.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

Leave a Comment

  1. Jill says:

    Forgive me if I didn’t catch the answer in the above, but what do you do when your consistent BP(checked annually for employer insurance benefits) is in the 124/84 area and you are being ‘watched’ as pre-hypertensive?

    What if you can’t naturally get that hawkeyed number down and that number affects your “health scores” that will likely impact your insurance rates?

  2. Dr E says:

    Hi Jill
    I can’t believe that an ideal BP like 124/84 would affect your rates. There aren’t any health risks and if someone suggests meds, find another doc. That is really disturbing to hear

  3. Jill says:

    Thank you for your reply, Dr. E. It’s not a doctor, it’s the intermediary health plan monitoring group sponsored through Aurora BayCare Medical Center. They provide HRA– health risk assessments for my employer’s annual program.

    The 2014 results tell me 124/84 is considered pre-hypertensive. I will likely have something above 120/80 for the rest of my life, regardless of all the supplementing I do.

    If 2-3 years of above 120/80, and that I refuse medication to meet the magic number, I am concerned that it will impact how insurance will treat people like me. It is disturbing, frankly.

    We’ll see how the future unfolds…

  4. Jeff Wygodny says:

    As an anesthesiologist, I spend my life watching blood pressure readings every 5 minutes and over 20 years have a few observations and thoughts about blood pressure that are generally neglected in the literature. Anesthesiologists generally assess the adequacy of chronic blood pressure control by the intra-operative variability in blood pressure. Those with high variability are thought to be poorly controlled. In my experience, patients just on diuretics seem to have higher variabilty than other classes of drugs though admittedly it is difficult to know if there is some skewed selection in that diuretics are frequently “first line” meds and so we are seeing a class of people either recently diagnosed with hypertension and therefore not yet adequately adjusted or they are a class of people where the physician and/or patient are (IMO) in denial about the SEVERITY of the patients hypertension. I feel that many primary care physicians read that their patients are disturbed to be diagnosed with HTN and therefore give them a “weaker” class of drug initially to assuage their patients feelings. The second point I would like to make is that 140/80 in a 6’2″ male weighing 210 lbs is not the same as in a 5′ tall female weighing 100 lbs. In other words, smaller, thinner people should have and generally do have lower BP than big people. The purpose of BP is to adequately insure blood flow to all tissues. The more you need to fight gravity (in a tall person) or tissue density (in a heavy person), the higher the BP needs to be. That is why HTN is a normal reaction to obesity, for instance. As an interesting example of this point, giraffes have valves in the arteries of their necks to prevent back flow due to gravity (valves in humans are only in veins) or else their hearts would get massive hypertrophy in order to generate enough pressure to insure adequate blood flow to their brain.

  5. Jeff Wygodny says:

    I forgot to say in my last comment that in spite of my personal observations on diuretics, Dr. Edelbergs points in his article are right on target and I agree with his recommendations about not overtreating and life style changes. His point of view is sadly and shockingly under-represented among physicians.

  6. Paco says:

    Hi, This article tells that you should take medicines according to your health conditions. Not all blood pressure medicines have side effects some of them are very effective like i always prefer to use Zestril (Generic Lisinopril) that works by relaxing blood vessels, increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, further improving the ability of the heart to pump blood.

  7. S Patton says:

    Hello Dr. Edelberg,

    Are you still replying to questions on this matter?

  8. cliffmaurer says:


  9. Katheryn says:

    Dear Dr. Edelberg,

    I can’t believe I found this article. I haven’t had any meds for 3 days (BP started at under 100/65 on meds, sometimes lower). I was taking Lisinipril 25 mg. My bp goes from a low of 125/75 to a high of 155/ 92, depending upon what I’m doing. But my pulse is always around 100 or higher. It used to be 72 before I got on the meds. I’m walking on the treadmill, changed diet, etc. Can you tell me when the drug will be out of my body & when my pulse rate will normalize? Should I go back on a lower dose of the med?

  10. Dr E says:

    Hi Kathryn
    It will take 2-3 weeks for all side effects from Lisinopril to clear. I would suggest taking your BP twice a day, writing down all your readings and see if an upward trend develops. Maybe your lifestyle changes will have paid off so well you don’t need any BP med at all

  11. Debra Martin says:

    Thank you for this valuable information

  12. angie says:

    My husband was doing fine before he started taking medication.How can we go about getting him wheaned off medication? Your article was very helpful.

  13. Dr R says:

    Hi Angie. Sometimes medications are just necessary. If that’s the case, changing meds might help. If your husband is “on the fence” regarding need, it would be worthwhile looking for a doctor in your area willing to work with him on life style changes. If you’re in the Chicago area, please contact our office at 773-296-6700. Good luck.

  14. Betty Valenti says:

    I am on cartia xt 240 mg capsules once a day. I’ve been on them about 6 years now. My pressure has been normal but the dry mouth hasn’t. Is there another med that won’t give me dry mouth?

  15. Dr E says:

    Hi Betty
    Ask your doctor about the ARB medication group (Diovan, Cozaar); these are excellent and no dry mouth

  16. Betty Valenti says:

    thanks Dr. E for your response on dry mouth from my high blood pressure meds. Is this in place of the meds or just to take care of
    my dry mouth.
    Should I be concerned about any serious side effects?

  17. Dr E says:

    Hi Betty
    These would be replacement and are pretty much free from side effects

  18. Betty Valenti says:

    Hi Dr.E
    Thanks for answering me. Can’t seem to find the medsDiovan
    and Cozaar on my ins.list. Is there a different name for them or
    a generic? Who makes them? I’m the one with dry mouth from my meds.

    Betty V

  19. Dr. R says:

    Betty. Try searching for Valsartan or Losartan.

  20. Carolann Pezak says:

    You didn’t answer my question/ Which was are there any noticeable side effects when the doctor takes you off blood pressure medicine? (Losartan Potassium 25 mg)

  21. Dr E says:

    Hi Carolann
    At that low dose of Losartan, you’ll probably not notice anything. Obviously you will need to keep an eye on your blood pressure

  22. David says:

    First off Thanks for this info
    I was a 6.2 about 200lbs male that ended up with palpitations cause of HBP was having me a really bad diet of anything I could get my hands on my cholesterol was above 200 this was end of my 37 years.
    as soon as I was diagnosed I was given lisinopril 20mlg , astrovastatin 10mlg, carvedilol 10mlg and levothyroxine 25mlg cause of undiagnosed thyroid
    when I was put on the stress test machine and was put on the halter machine for a few days spent a few months waiting for the results got back a clear to go back to working out.
    so I got on a strict diet change my eating habits completely and began walking till I got to a running level have not stopped doing this since
    was taken off the atorvastatin and kept loosing weight and dieting finally I was able to get healthy weight of 155lbs with good cholesterol and got rid of carvedilol my last mission was getting rid of lisinopril.
    here i am at 40 getting rid of that last pill with a BP of 136/86 on the average there are days that i will go up to 140/90 but nothing that relaxing or a little running will put under control and now I weight 180 healthy muscle doing 10k runs every day for the fun also weight lifting I trust I will get my BP a bit lower but I am in no rush just enjoying the process of getting better thanks for this article I hope my story could help any one out there build the courage to do the same we are not built for pills or couches get out of the house and fight back get your health back!!!!!

  23. anna says:

    Dr’s have had me on metoprolol & hydrochlorothiazide for 14 yrs. I’ve been noticing side affects for a few years now. Like drained energy even when I get enough sleep, hard time walking because my feet bother me, lots of tingling in feet,and now I had to get a chest exray & there’s something growing in one of my lungs. I read that with the metoprolol that could happen.

  24. Bev says:

    There are several foods that are good diuretics so you may not need to take a rx one either. Also there are some good herbs.on another note, I had a stroke almost two years ago. My BP and cholesterol weren’t severely high but stress was unrelenting for several years.i was put on lisinopril and Vitorin and aspirin. My dosages are gradually being reduced. I want to be totally off them but my neurologist isn’t inclined to think that way. I also use alternative supplements and grain s and nuts,etc. Do you feel I am stuck for life on bp and cholesterol meds because of the stroke? ?? Thanks

  25. Dr E says:

    Hi Bev
    I’m afraid you’re stuck with the meds. Your neurologist just does want you to suffer a stroke

  26. Rita says:

    David Edelberg, MD Whoa Dear Doctor you told a lady that her Neurologist “just DOES want you to suffer a stroke” I enjoyed reading all the info and comments and your replies, but thought you should be made aware of a typing mistake. LOL

  27. Sara says:

    Hi Dr. E,
    Thanks for this info. I’m happy to say that at least several of the many doctors I’ve seen in the past couple months gave similar explanations about the meaning of the numbers, and how they were derived.

    What I would love to know, is if lifestyle management (namely exercise) can help remove the need for meds if they are not a factor causing the high blood pressure in the first place? That is, I had less than ideal lifestyle (full time consulting plus toddler does that), but still had great BP!

    I am currently recovering from pre-eclampsia from my second child; formerly, my BP was typically something like 117/68. During my bed rest, it was 150/100 when intensively managed, and seldom dropped… It definitely went higher. I made it a month like that before my WBC count dropped and baby was evicted (she’s fine, a healthy 33 weeker), and was up to 300 mg labetolol 3x/day plus 30 mg atelat 2x/day. 8 weeks post delivery, we’ve tried to wean me off the labetolol twice, only to go back up after a couple days off. I’m trying a third time, and have made it down to 50 mg 2x/day, but I’m worried I’ll be stuck here. With the meds, I’m in my normal range, maybe sometimes higher in the evening, but not hypertensive, but I feel tired and dizzy all the time (more so than normal newborn tiredness).

    The literature states that “most” people are better within 4-6 weeks, but fails to discuss what happens to the others. I know a few who never got off meds,despite no pre-existing condition, and I don’t understand what the mechanism for change in that permanent change in the body is?

  28. Tim Vicari says:

    Dr E –
    Thank you so much for your wisdom & FACTS. I have recently, (about 3 months), gotten off of Lisinopril but the side effect of my skin burning is continuing. Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of this? The sad thing is I never really had high blood pressure after reading this article.

  29. Grace says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this article. It was very informative & I will look into it more. I was confused why a doctor would say they’ll prescibe medication to lower blood pressure 140/90 or higher. But when we got the blood pressure down to 108-112/60’s on a daily basis due to a diet change for several weeks, they say to continue the medication for a month & not be “focused on numbers”. But they are the ones who push the numbers & base medicating us on those very numbers… Yet when numbers got so low, they said we shouldn’t focus on the numbers & should lower dose more if there is lightheadedness [but the patient was probably already over medicated & they are just waiting for symptoms to show!]. I understand they’re taking precautions in not stopping a pill cold turkey after taking it so long, but they said they’re concerned about “rebound blood pressure” which doesn’t make sense if you changed your diet for good. Sorry if I’m rambling. I’m just tired from traditional healthcare not making sense to me.

  30. Mary says:

    As great as diuretics are in lowering bp, I wouldn’t recommend them speaking from personal experience. I was on atenol/chlor 50-25mgs for about 7 years. Through diet and exercise, I was able to come off of them about a month ago. So far, so good! However, the side effects I had from the chlorthalidone was not good. My blood sugar went high (non-diabetic, extremely cold hands and feet to the point I developed nerve damage in my feet and, I developed a cataract which I was told was also a dude effect from the diuretic. I’m only 57 years old. So, if you have another choice, try it instead of the diuretics. Better yet, diet and exercise and de-stress!!

  31. Patricia says:

    I had taken Hawthorne to control blood pressure . then out of the blue it went up to 150s+ over high 80s – 100. Rapid heart rate was the biggest problem. I can get the BP down but the escalated heart rate is a problem. Hawthorne isn’t working. Dr put me on Diltiazem. Does nothing g for BP. Mildly effects HR.

  32. Dr E says:

    Hi Patricia
    This situation requires additional diagnostic tests and at this point, you’ll need conventional, not natural therapies. From your description it honestly sounds like overactive thyroid so get tested for this

  33. Patricia says:

    I have already had a TSH and T4 done. Was told they were within normal limits

  34. Emma says:

    Dear Dr. Edelberg,
    This has been one of the best articles I have read about subtle variances in BP for individual circumstances, particularly after the rather frustrating experience I have had with (well-intentioned) doctors. I am a 38 year old female diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension at 40 weeks and subsequently induced. My BP continued uncontrolled for several days after my son was born and I was sent home on 30mg Nifedipine and 200mg Labetalol 3 times a day. My hypertension persisted, but I was eventually taken off Labetalol due to low BP, and kept on Nifedipine. I have been on Nifedipine for 10 months with very good BP. Recently my BP started to drop (and I experienced lightheadedness), and I was compelled to come off my tablets but my doctor was not keen for me to do this. I have now been 4 days off Nifedipine and apart from two spikes of around 133/95 when I was agitated, my BP during the day is consistently 115/75 or lower, sometimes 120/85 at most. My question is, is this perhaps a good indication that my condition is stabilising, or does it take a while for the Nifedipine to leave the body and I may expect an incremental rise in my BP over the next couple of weeks? There is a history of blood pressure in my family, although I had no BP problems until pregnancy. I am a healthy weight, I don’t smoke, and I have a good diet. The cardiologist has cleared me of any secondary causes for hypertension, but had speculated that perhaps I have now developed essential hypertension and will need medication for the rest of my life. I am little concerned about reactive BP coming off the drug, could this still happen even after several days off the drug? I am keen to make sure that I am not taking medication unnecessarily. The Drs are perplexed because usually pregnancy induced hypertension rectifies itself by about 6 weeks post birth and mine has persisted much longer than this.

  35. Dr E says:

    Hi Emma
    The nifedipine was gone after 48 hours. What you are calling a blood pressure spike when agitated is really not much of a spike. It is normal for your BP to rise when you’re upset or anxious about something–it’s the fight or flight response
    I think your blood pressure is pretty good. I assume you have your own BP unit. Now that you’re off meds, take your BP daily at approximately the same time. If, after a couple weeks you’re getting numbers as good as these then you probably don’t need the meds. BTW pregnancy induced BO rise can last 6 months

  36. C Wilson says:

    Hello, Thank you so much for this article. It and the comments/answers below have been so helpful! I am 35 years old and never had high blood pressure until after having my baby 4 months ago. My blood pressure was fine during pregnancy and before leaving the hospital and has always been on the low side before getting pregnant. When I went in for my 6 week check up was when they discovered the hbp. I have been on medication since then and it seems to be controlled now (usually around 120/88) or lower but I am anxious to get off of the medication because it makes me feel terrible. I am currently taking nifedipine and labetalol. I have heart palpitations, head aches, chest pains, swelling of the feet, and arm discomfort (both arms)…Im always anxious that I’m having a heart attack. I would like to know…Have you seen this happen with many women (developing hbp after the fact) and is it possible to get off of this medication or am I stuck having to take it for life?I do have a family history of hbp on my fathers side. How low of a reading should one have and how long should one have certain numbers before its safe to start weaning from medication. Thank you very much for responding!

  37. James Balyejusa says:

    My doctor has agreed that I add vasophil and COQ10 to my high blood pressure meds. Can you please recommend a safe and reliable source for the two products?

  38. Eric says:

    I just found this article because it was just the other day my doctor – who I just found by looking him up in my company’s PPO (similar) — the point is.. my BP when at the doctor spikes. I told him this. At one time, I had what turned out to be a non-emergency. Went to the ER, my BP was so high — they nearly kept me for that and not the other thing which I thought was a big deal but wasn’t. Anyway, 15 minutes later, my BP was fine. I told them — I have WHITE COAT SYNDROME. My current doctor — has tested my 3 times in a row — over a period of a month – It’s consistently about 140/80. The upper number may be a bit higher one time on his check but the lower is always 80. At one time, he measured after we chatted — again — he said at that point, it was back to a “normal” level – at least according to his thoughts. NOW, it’s high again — 140/80 and he says one more time and he wants me on meds. I already am on Paxil (the generic one) 20mg for anxiety. Obviously, him wanting me on more meds has my anxiety rising. Plus my mom is on BP meds and she said it took the doc (not the same one) forever to get her numbers right. I don’t want to deal with this if 140/80 is fine for a 45 year old guy 6’1, 215 pounds — non-smoker — non-drinker — and I get out for some exercise… though my BMI is not great.

  39. Vanna says:

    Do we even need to take meds why not natural there are so many remedies?

  40. Emilia says:

    I am a 5ft 4in 65 year old female and weighs 150 lbs. I have had at least 4 episodes of elevated BP in the last year, the last one was just two weeks ago when my BP reached levels as high as 170/100 and fluctuated between 140/99 to 130/90 for 4 four consecutive days. as a result my doctor prescribed coversyl 4mg 1x daily. I have been taking coversyl for 10 days now and bp is now down to 120/80 to 109/71 Also,I have started the dash diet along with exercise. My question is can I get off the medication if my BP stays consistent for the next while?? Thank you!

  41. Thomas says:

    I began taking Neo40,(“Nitric Oxide Formula”) two quick dissolve tablets, one AM one PM daily a little over a month ago to keep my BP in the 120/80 range. I’m a 67yo male 6′, 180 pounds. I also take Rosuvastatin Calcium, 5mg daily. Recent blood work showed elevated Potassium of 5.6 mmol/L and Creatinine 1.18 mg/d. A repeat blood test showed the same results. My physician reacted like I was critically ill even though I believed the elevations to be due to the Neo40 which I stopped taking. He wasn’t aware at the time I was taking Neo40. Are elevations like this usual or dangerous? My total cholesterol is 130, LDL 60, HDL 57. My goal is to eliminate BP meds and statins completely. I did have a triple bypass 8 years ago and sporadically have an irregular heart beat.

  42. Dr E says:

    Hi Emilia
    I think your blood pressure is now normal because of the Coversyl and that it just might return to the slightly elevated levels when you go off it. That said, if you start experiencing side effects (most common: cough, fatigue, insomnia) then be sure to tell your doctor. Also, it’s important to know if the elevated readings were in your doctor’s office or at home.Just being in a doctor’s office can raise blood pressure and too many people are taking meds for this phenomenon called “white coat high blood pressure.”

  43. Dr E says:

    Hi Thomas
    I doubt if the Neo40 is responsible either for the potassium issue or the creatinine. Cardiologists routinely prescribe statins after by-pass surgery, basically so you won’t get another blockage. All your numbers actuallly look pretty good!

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    Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    As you might expect, fatigue is a fairly common reason people visit doctors. Feeling tired is vague symptom and can be linked to dozens of possible diagnoses, plus there’s a need to differentiate between physical fatigue and mental fatigue (brain fog) or consider both. When …Read More »
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    I’d been reading Ally Hilfiger’s new autobiography Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, preferring the Lyme parts to those devoted to fashion and her MTV “Rich Girl” series. Her symptoms were typical of chronic Lyme and …Read More »

October Sale: 20% Off Urban Moonshine Products


All Urban Moonshine products are 20% off for the entire month of October!

Urban Moonshine creates beautiful herbal formulas that focus on prevention, improving quality of life, and empowering people to create home herbal apothecaries.  More>>