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High blood pressure. On verapamil. Smoker & alcoholic. Can take aspirin, coumadin?

My husband is 71 years old and has been under Dr.'s care for high blood pressure since he was about 25 or 30 years. He is 6'4" tall and current weight is 222 lbs. His BMI is approx.27. He is taking verapamil 240 mg, Diovan 320 mg. and 10mg amlodipine besylate for hbp. He has had a pacemaker for 12 years currently on his third device. He has a-fib. and they want to put him on Coumadin. He is a smoker ( a pack a day) likes a few beers and is reasonably active. His blood pressure top number runs from 140 to 172 but the bottom number stays between 67 and 80. No adjustment in medications seems to bring the top number down to where most of his physicians want it. He is wondering about the wisdom of going on Coumadin as his mother was on it for 10 or 12 years and had bouts of bleeding in her bowels and brain and ended in the hospital several times. Also he likes all the vegetables that are on a list to cause side effects when on Coumadin. He also would have to limit consumption of aspirin or aspirin containing products ( Excedrin) which are the only products for pain relief that seem to help him. Tylenol,Advil and Aleve are worthless when it comes to relieving pain. It seems as long as his body can tolerate aspirin that aspirin is an option for keeping the blood moving in his vessels.
Asked On : Thu, 25 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  61
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

There are certain factors that increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes in persons with atrial fibrillation. These are : increasing age, high blood pressure, previous history of either a heart attack or stroke, poor function of the heart, rheumatic heart disease.

If there are any risk factor present then warfarin is indicated. In your husbands case, his age and the history of hypertension would be counted as risk factors and are the reasons that his doctor recommended warfarin (coumadin).

Medical studies have shown that is reduces the risk of complications mentioned before.

There are also other family of pain medications that can be used for his pain.

Your husband would have to consider the potential benefits vrs the cons of taking it.

I hope this helps
Answered: Thu, 25 Apr 2013
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