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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I have recently been seeing blood pressure readings between 74/130

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Dr. Aaron Branch

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 387 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 1 Feb 2019 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I have recently been seeing blood pressure readings between 74/130 - 78/150 .. I am 63 and in good shape .. 5'11" / 185 lbs and exercise frequently .. for my entire life up till recently my blood pressure was normally 115/70 sometimes a little higher and sometimes lower but had always been in that range … I have been taking sertraline for depression .. and Xanax and Inderal as needed for anxieti … about a year ago I began taking Hydroxizine and Buspar and not the Xanax .. the Hydroxizine was added primarily because of insomnia but does help with anxiety .. could this medication change affected my blood pressure ? or do you have other ideas / reasons for this increase ?
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Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch 34 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Consider holding Sertraline and Buspar

Detailed Answer:
Hello, I'm Dr. Branch, thanks for using Ask a Doctor. First, I am assuming your blood pressure has risen to 130/74-150/78 (usually the higher number is first). In which case, there are many reasons for your blood pressure to go up, including temporary causes such as stress or exercise, a problem with the blood pressure cuff (especially if it is too small), taking pain medications like Ibuprofen, or just over time our arteries tend to get harder and less compliant, leading to higher blood pressures.

However, one medication interaction that I would be concerned about is the sertraline and the buspar. Both of these medications increase your serotonin levels, and if they get too high this can lead to high blood pressure and even lead to a serotonin syndrome, which has signs such as fast heart rate, fever, sweating, and altered mental status.

I would suggest talking to your doctor about this and consider stopping either sertraline or buspar or both to see if this brings the blood pressure back down.

I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any other questions about that and I'd be glad to discuss it further with you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch 58 minutes later
thank you .. I will stop taking the buspar and see what happens ..
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Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
You're welcome!

Detailed Answer:
Please let me know if I can help with anything else.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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