Can Blood Pressure Medicine Make You Lose Weight?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious cardiovascular condition present in one in three adults in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. However, various medications can help reduce your readings to a normal level. Making lifestyle changes can also help treat contributing factors, such as obesity. Although you may experience weight loss in association with taking medication to control blood pressure, these medications cannot actually cause or promote weight loss.

Woman, happy with her weight loss. (Image: CareyHope/iStock/Getty Images)

Types

Several different blood pressure medications may be prescribed to you, depending on your particular condition. Diuretics, for example, flush excess fluids and sodium from the body, according to the American Heart Association. Beta blockers work in a different way, lowering the heart rate and amount of blood pushed through the heart. Vasodilators relax the walls of your blood vessels and cause them to dilate. You may also be placed on ACE inhibitors, which prevent certain chemicals from constricting the arteries.

Expert Insight

According to the American Heart Association, weight loss is not a side effect of blood pressure medications. There is no relationship between weight loss and medications taken to control blood pressure -- while you may notice weight loss while taking a blood pressure medication, this is merely coincidental. This does not mean, though, that unexplained weight loss should be ignored. If you can't identify a reason for your weight loss, you could be experiencing an unwanted interaction between medications, or you may have other health problems masked by your high blood pressure. Contact a doctor immediately to determine the cause of this weight loss.

Significance

High blood pressure rates tend to be higher in persons who are obese. The risks associated with high blood pressure include an increased chance of developing heart disease as well as heart attacks. Stroke and kidney failure are other potentially fatal results of high blood pressure.

Lifestyle Changes

Blood pressure medications are often not the only recommendation made by your doctor. These medications are aided in their effectiveness by lifestyle changes. If you smoke, you should stop. Reduce your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks a day. Eat a low-sodium diet high in fruits and vegetables, and incorporate exercise several days a week to promote weight loss, improve circulation and strengthen the heart.

Considerations

Blood pressure medication carries a range of side effects. These can vary depending on the type of medication you are taking. You may experience a potassium deficit in the body leading to muscle cramps and weakness. Some individuals taking diuretics suffer from gout with long-term medication use. If you have diabetes, you may also experience elevated blood sugar levels.

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