Blood Pressure Medicine Withdrawal Side Effects

Blood pressure medicine withdrawal when done incorrectly can create side effects that can cause a heart attack or death. It might be wise to stay on the medication, or to talk to a health care professional before ceasing the medication's use. When a person has reached their target blood pressure goals, the doctor still may want a person to take it, at least for a while.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Can't Suddently Stop

According to literature that the retail giant Walmart's pharmacies hand out with blood pressure medication, a person should never suddenly stop it. Doing so can cause unpleasant side effects such as sharp chest pains, irregular heartbeat or a heart attack.


Walmart pharmacies also advise that when a person has a history of certain types of heart disease, this risk can be even greater 2. According to Walmart pharmacies and the Health Central website, a person should not suddenly stop taking the medication 1. Its dosage should be lowered slowly on the advice and consent of a doctor.


A person should come off blood pressure medication gradually, over the course of several weeks perhaps, because stopping too quickly can have adverse effects on the heart. And people who are 75 years of age and older may have a more difficult time withdrawing from blood pressure medication and maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

Types of Medication

There are many kinds of blood pressure medication. But basically they fall into the following categories GO Diruretics get rid of excess water and salt in the body, and they are usually the first line of defense. Beta-blockers will block the effects of adrenaline to ease the heart's pumping action. Angioteisin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce the production of the chemical that causes the arteries to become narrow. Calcium-channel blockers decrease the contractions of the heart, and widen the blood vessels. Angiotensin receptor blockers retard the chemical that constricts the arteries. Vasodilators expand the blood vessels to allow more blood to flow through.

Take Care

While withdrawing from blood pressure medication a person should take care of his body. Losing weight, eating healthy foods, cutting back on sodium and avoiding alcohol consumption are all good ways to ensure a smooth transition from utilizing blood pressure medication.

Consult a Doctor

Before a person suddenly stops taking blood pressure medication, it is wise to consult a health care professional, who then can help lower the dose slowly over a certain recommended period of time and monitor the patient's progress to make certain he stays healthy.


Stopping and starting blood pressure medication are serious steps. It is not something a person should do lightly. While slowly lowering the prescribed blood pressure dose, a person needs to limit his physical activity to give the heart a chance to become accustomed to working with less medication. Again, always talk to a health care professional first before going off the prescribed blood pressure medication.