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Is it dangerous to stop taking blood pressure medication?

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Updated November 02, 2005

Question: Is it dangerous to stop taking blood pressure medication?
"I have a friend that's been taking his high blood pressure medication for only a week or so and wand's to stop because his pressure is down considerably and he doesn't want it to be a life long medication that he has to take. What's the danger in him doing this?"
Answer: High blood pressure or hypertension is often called a silent killer. While most people do not feel significant symptoms from high blood pressure the condition can silently do significant damage to the heart, kidneys and your circulatory system. If a physician has prescribed blood pressure medication for your friend it is important that your friend not stop taking that medication unless advised by his doctor. His blood pressure may be down because of the medication and stopping it could cause it to rise again. Your friends blood pressure may also be down because of lifestyle changes he has made (weight loss, exercise or smoking cessation) but it is up to the doctor to determine if the therapy needs to be altered.

Untreated or poorly treated high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction and vision loss. The threat of those is the danger your friend faces if he chooses to stop his medications without doctor advice.

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