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Hi...I'm a 32 year old female 5'3 & 130 lbs. I've had to take Atenolol for about 8 months. I was put on this med when my BP skyrocketed to 175/118 (I was also sent to the hospital). I have no high BP in my family, weight is normal and I'm too young for this. My doctor attributed my high BP to the Effexor I was taking. I just switched to Wellbutrin and have read that this will also cause a rise in BP. Should I be worried about this? Or will the Atenolol keep working (it also helps with my anxiety).
I just don't know what is better...go off the AD and be miserable or take the Atenolol and worry that I'll have a stroke one day.

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Jennifer,

High blood pressure, or hypertension (HTN) , is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of
mercury (mm Hg). High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke (or brain attack), especially along with other risk factors.

High blood pressure can occur in children or adults, but is particularly prevalent in blacks, middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women who are taking oral contraceptives. Individuals with diabetes mellitus gout or kidney disease have a higher frequency of hypertension.  High blood pressure may be primary (essential) or secondary.  In your case I would question if it is secondary.  If the  hypertension is secondary there may be a treatable cause.  Most of these causes are relatively rare (i.e. renal artery stenosis, pheochromocytoma).  If no secondary cause is found then the high blood pressure is said to be primary.  The vast majority of cases of HTN are  primary.  The main cause of primary HTN is genetic.  I would make sure the effexor is causing a rise in your blood pressure before giving up on it alltogether. (e.g. does your blood pressure return to normal when you are off the medication). Atenolol is a good antihypertensive and does help with some types of anxiety.

Here are some previous questions and answers about hypertension.

Q: I believe the higher blood pressure is directly related to anxiety which may be OK for the "normal"
person, however with me having this disorder I deal with anxiety A LOT and I often endure it without my medication.
A: It is important to take the medication you need for anxiety.  In addition you may need blood pressure medication if your high blood pressure continues.

Q: How do salt and sodium affect high blood pressure?
A: Most Americans consume far more salt (sodium) than their bodies need. Heavy sodium consumption increases blood pressure in some people, leading to high blood pressure. People who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are often placed on restricted-sodium diets. Reducing sodium (or salt) consumption may help lower blood pressure in some people. Your doctor may recommend a sodium (salt) restricted diet. This will mean you'll have to avoid salty foods and cut down on the amount of salt you use in cooking and at the table.

Q: How does being overweight affect high blood pressure?

A: Studies have shown that body weight, changes in body weight over time, and skinfold thickness are related to changes in blood pressure levels. These factors have been linked to the subsequent rise and development of high blood pressure. People who are overweight are more likely to have high-normal to mild high blood

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease. In addition, a sedentary or inactive lifestyle tends to
contribute to obesity, a risk factor for both high blood pressure and heart disease. Regular exercise helps
control weight and lower blood pressure. Don't be afraid to be active
Avatar universal
I suffer from what is called Polycystic Kidney Disease (google it) which causes chronic kidney stones. Many people have this disease with no signs until they are much older. When their kidneys begin to fail them. The main symptom is high blood pressure beginning as a young adult. why? Because your kidneys are working too hard fighting off the cysts and they are not filtering correctly. I was diagnosed with PKD in July last year after a car accident. I just happened to decide to see a friend who happened to also be a urologist as I did not have medical insurance and knew he would let me pay it out.  He ran a series of tests and came to find I had chronic kidney stones. A total of 6. Just in there. Probably been there for years. If you have high blood pressure on top of chronic stones I highly recommend you get tested. A CT scan is the best way to get diagnosed and make sure you see a Urologist who. If you would like to here more about my story I will happily tell you. Before you get tested you need to know this is a fatal disease and this will affect your ability to get life insurance and affordable health care if you do not have it prior.
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