Hello. This is Heart Health Tuesdays! Today, we’ll talk about flomax and high blood pressure. Flomax is an alph-blocker, or a special type of medication that blocks the alpha receptors in your body. These alpha blockers, and most notably Flomax, is used to treat men with an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The effect is to reduce the problems that they have with urination. So can flomax cause high blood pressure?
Actually, Flomax can also be used in combination with other medications to treat hypertension when high blood pressure is difficult to control.
One of the side effects of using an alpha-blocker is that the blood pressure of the patient is often lowered slightly. This effect can be useful in patients who suffer not only from BPH but also from hypertension or high blood pressure. When Flomax is used in combination with other mild anti-hypertensive drugs (those used to decrease blood pressure) the patient receives two benefits from their medication. They have relief from the BPH and their blood pressure comes under control.
Patients may ask their physician if Flomax causes high blood pressure but even the side effects of the medication are caused by lowering the blood pressure of the patient and not raising it accidentally.
While alpha-blockers such as Flomax are a good combination drug in men with BPH they arent such a good choice as a first line medication for the treatment of hypertension. Flomax appears to be well tolerated with very mild side effects such as dizziness, heart palpitations and fainting. Most of the side effects can be avoided by taking the medication at bedtime and starting at low doses gradually working up to a higher dose if needed. The side effects are generally caused from low blood pressure symptoms so patients should be aware of getting up slowly from a lying or sitting position.
Other side effects include abnormal ejaculation, back pain, cough, diarrhea, infections, runny nose, sore throat, and sinus problems.
As with all medications there are interactions between Flomax and other medications that can be severe. Before taking any new medication in your routine you should always discuss the effects with your other medications with your doctor and your pharmacist. Doctors are well trained in the art of diagnosis and treatment while pharmacists specialize in the actions and interactions of medications.
When you are discussing the use of Flomax with your doctor you should include any other medications including over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbals.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
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PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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