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My Blood Pressure is Less Than 120/80, Should I Still Take My Medicines?

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Updated February 01, 2008

Question: My Blood Pressure is Less Than 120/80, Should I Still Take My Medicines?
Answer:

Yes. As long as you’re not experiencing any symptoms of low blood pressure, everything is OK. In reality, there is no such thing as blood pressure that is “too low.” Studies have shown that the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases continues to fall even as blood pressure falls below 120/80.

How low the blood pressure can fall before symptoms develop is different for everyone. As long as you feel OK, “low numbers” are nothing to worry about. Note that this is exactly the opposite as high blood pressure -– even blood pressure that is high enough to be an immediate health risk usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. You may feel fine even though your pressure is dangerously high.

Common symptoms that indicate blood pressure is too low include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urine output
  • Fatigue when exercising
  • Fainting
If you’re concerned that your blood pressure may be too low, or if you’re having symptoms of low blood pressure, contact your doctor at once, but do not stop taking your medications unless told to do so. Several high blood pressure medications require a period of weaning in order to stop taking them, and suddenly stopping them can cause potentially serious side effects. Most common is “rebound hypertension,” a drug-induced condition that causes a sudden, dramatic increase in blood pressure, sometimes to dangerously high levels.

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