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Can I take blood pressure medication if I have diabetes?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

If you have diabetes, it is important to keep certain factors in mind if you have high blood pressure and are taking medication. Here is a list of common medications used to manage high blood pressure and their effects with diabetes:

Aceon: Be aware that having diabetes increases your risk of developing a potentially deadly heart rhythm problem if you take both Aceon and another medication that increases the level of potassium in your blood. These medications include spironolactone, amiloride and triamterene, as well as indomethacin, heparin and cyclosporine. If you’re taking any of these drugs in combination with Aceon, your doctor should check your potassium level frequently.

Vasotec: In people with diabetes, Vasotec can cause too much potassium to build up. This is called hyperkalemia, and it can cause serious health issues, such as kidney damage and heart rhythm problems. In you have diabetes, Vasotec may also cause narrowing of the blood vessels that bring blood to the kidneys. If you experience this problem, you may need additional drugs or surgery to treat it.

Prinivil: Prinivil is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure and after a heart attack to improve the odds of survival. Combining an ACE inhibitor with insulin or an oral diabetes medication can put you at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially during the first month of use and in people with kidney problems. Your doctor will likely monitor your blood glucose levels closely during treatment.

Capoten: An angiotensin-converting (ACE) inhibitor that's typically used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and certain heart problems, capoten can be used to treat kidney conditions, including proteinuria (too much protein in the urine) in people with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and retinopathy. The medicine can help to slow the progression of kidney disease.

Accupril: You should be aware that having diabetes increases your risk of developing a potentially deadly heart rhythm problem if you take both Accupril and another medication that increases the levels of potassium in your blood. These medications include spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene and heparin. If you’re taking any of these drugs in combination with Accupril your doctor will frequently check your potassium level.

Mavik: If you have diabetes, you should be cautious about taking Mavik (trandolapril), which treats hypertension (high blood pressure) and improves heart function after a heart attack. People with diabetes who take Mavik are more likely than others to develop hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the blood), which can increase the risk for serious cardiac arrhythmias.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.