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About Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

By Edited Aug 30, 2015 5 4


The medications prescribed for low blood pressure, or hypotension, will vary according to the type of hypotension. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the types of hypotension are orthostatic, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up; neurally mediated, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure when you are standing upright for long periods of time; asymptomatic, which is when low pressure is inherently normal or caused by infections such as septicemia and hypotension resulting from shock or an extreme loss of blood.

Causes of low blood pressure can include anemia, bacterial infections, excessive bleeding, dehydration, and some medications. Endocrine disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders and hampered blood flow due to narrowed arteries can also result in persistently low blood pressure.

A diagnosis of hypotension is reached through obtaining blood samples, providing the doctor with a thorough medical history, family medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram (EKG) testing and stress testing. Any medications the individual is taking will be considered as possible causes of hypotension. If medications are the cause, adjustments will be made. Orthostatic hypotension is often diagnosed using tilt table testing. The tilt table allows doctors to determine if the sudden drop in blood pressure results from sudden position changes.

Intravenous fluids and antibiotics are common treatments for septicemia and blood pressure will return to normal once the condition is rectified. Erythropoietin and Midodrine are medications that are prescribed most often to treat orthostatic hypotension. These medications act by stimulating nerve endings that cause blood cells to constrict and return more blood to the heart. This raises blood pressure. Disopyramide, Ephedrine, Fludrocortisone, Fuoxetine and Sertraline are commonly prescribed to treat neurally mediated hypotension by raising an individual's heart rate. A rise in heart rate results in a rise in blood pressure.

An individual with low blood pressure may have skin that is cold, clammy and pale. Symptoms of hypotension include; blurred vision, nausea, weakness, shallow breathing, rapid breathing, mood swings, confusion, fatigue, fainting, depression, dizziness lack of concentration and thirst. .

When blood pressure is low for an extended period of time, the body's internal organs and tissues do not receive the appropriate amount of oxygen or nutrient supplies. The brain, heart and other vital organs can be damaged as a result. This can lead to permanent damage, shock and death. All medications must be taken as prescribed by a doctor.



Oct 27, 2009 6:24pm
Great info on low blood pressure. I never knew what the symptoms were.
Jan 7, 2010 4:59pm
I have high blood pressure right now. It was low at one time then something happened and it just went out of control. NICELY WRITTEN
Apr 11, 2010 8:25am
good info and well written.
Dec 2, 2011 12:26am
Very informative article on low blood pressure.
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