Scottish Daily Mail - - Good Health -

Dr HE­LEN COWAN, a nurse with a PhD in car­diac phar­ma­col­ogy, re­veals the mis­takes peo­ple make with their med­i­ca­tion. This week: Guess­ing blood pres­sure

I ONCE had a pa­tient with heart fail­ure who took ramipril (one of the com­mon tablets for high blood pres­sure) and would ‘dou­ble dose’ on days where she ‘felt’ that her blood pres­sure was high (due to how she was feel­ing).

On ‘good days’ — when she felt it was low — she didn’t take a pill at all, which meant her heart had to work harder to pump blood around her body.

Ramipril acts on the kid­neys and blood ves­sels to re­duce the heart’s work­load, es­sen­tial for some­one with heart fail­ure, so it is risky to miss a dose. Mean­while, dou­ble-dos­ing re­duces blood pres­sure too much, lead­ing to dizzi­ness and faint­ing.

In turn, that could lead to high blood potas­sium lev­els which could in­ter­fere with the heart rhythm. Al­ways fol­low pre­scrip­tion ad­vice and don’t dou­ble dose, even if you for­get to take a pill.

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