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does high blood pressure ever return to normal?


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I think I've had just about every physical and psych symptom I've ever heard of, and at this point (8 months off Klonopin) I'm slowly starting to feel like I might be making progress, not much, but a little. I wanted to ask about something I haven't seen mentioned much here, blood pressure.


I didn't have high blood pressure until I first tried c/t. After 8 days with no sleep I noticed the veins in my arms were pulsating and I was still vomiting uncontrollably. I took my blood pressure and it was 240/140. I went to the doctor and she gave me Clonidine and Metoprolol to get it down. Although it helped, my blood pressure has never returned to anything like normal. I re-instated the Klonopin and tapered for 2 months before jumping off again.


Before w/d, it was always about 130/75. Now, it hovers around 140/100 even after daily doses of .3 to .6mg Clonidine, 100mg Metoprolol and 160mg Diovan. If I try to go without the Clonidine, it will go right back up to 200/130 within 8 hours.


There is so much pressure it feels like I'm going to have an aneurysm. Lately the blood vessels in my face, neck and chest are so dilated that you can easily see them through the skin. Sometimes on my shoulders and face I get tiny speckles of blood that are apparently being squeezed right out through my skin. (I've read about this but it's still hard to believe.) I've shown this to other people to make sure I'm not imagining it. After a few hours they dry to scabs and fall off a few days later. My eyes feel like I have major league glaucoma. The last two weeks, even my testicles feel like they are being blown up with a high-pressure bicycle pump. The pain is so bad it's becoming difficult to walk, (sorry girls). I have a lot of other symptoms that I think are related but who knows.


My question is this: Have any of you had long-term high blood pressure caused by withdrawal?


More importantly, has anyone that did have high blood pressure ever recovered enough to discontinue medication?


The meds don't seem to be working too well and if this keeps on like this I think I'm going to have a stroke or heart attack before I have a chance to recover.


Any thoughts or experience would be greatly appreciated. Even if anyone has heard of someone who eventually recovered somewhat normal b/p would be greatly appreciated.


Actually, anything even remotely related... Thanks!

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It depends.

Factors are:  age, weight, conditioning and family history. If you don't have the first three, and  If you have hypertension in the family, at some point in time, you too may develop high B/P.


second, Clonidine has to be discontinued over several days, as you can get a rebound hypertension, which you are obviously having......that pressure can be dangerous if it persists.

Clonidine is an alpha blocker, an old med and not commonly used these days, on an ongoing treatment for hypertension.  There are much better drugs out there.  Clonidine is useful in narcotic withdrawal and for some people in benzo withdrawal initially.

Metoprolol is a beta blocker and used more for irregular heart rhythms, but it does have some anti-hypertensive properties.

Diovan is a calcium channel blocker, and is probably the best med you are on for B/P.


My suggestion is to work with your doctor to get off the clonidine safely, making sure you don't have that dangerous rebound hypertension.  The doc will be able to advise you about other meds, that will work better.  A lot of people are on a calcium channel blockers (diovan) and an ACE inhibitor, like lisinopril.

You may at some point be tried off the meds to see what your baseline B/P is, or you may have developed essential hypertension.


You might also ask your doc to screen you for reno-vascular hypertension.  They can explain that in detail.


I am not a doctor, I am disabled flight nurse and have a lot of experience with hypertension.  This can be managed.  Call your doc today and get scheduled. 

Congrats being off the klonopin, that is great.  Hang in there.


Hugs, Skyy


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Hi LostDog,


I am so sorry you are having this awful time with your blood pressure.  It sounds like you are really suffering.  You are on a lot of BP medication too.


I did not have blood pressure problems before benzo use and withdrawals but I do now.  The highest mine ever got was 170/110.  During tolerance withdrawals my BP was very labile and would go from 90/60 to 170/110.  My PCP threw up her hands and sent me to a BP specialist.  I was tried on three different meds before it came down.  I am now on lisinopril, I have been off benzos for 7 weeks and my BP is stable around 110-120/70-80.  I was able to reduce the lisinopril dose in half after I got off the benzos.  I am doing pretty good in terms of recovering from the benzos but it remains to be seen if I can come off the lisinopril.  I am going to try and stop it when I feel like I have fully recovered, but I will not make this decision alone.  I will discuss it with my BP doc because hypertension is nothing to fool around with.  My thinking is that I have a family history of hypertension and the benzo stuff simply made it show up when it might have waited until later in my life to become a problem.  I don't know if I can blame it entirely on the benzos but the stress of all that just made it act up. 


I am worried for you and all you describe about your BP and the way it makes you feel.  Please, if you haven't already, go back to your doctor and discuss further options.  Again, high blood pressure must be taken seriously.  There are many different meds and combination of meds that can be used and you need to find something that works for you.  Hypertension can be controlled.  Keep us posted.



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I did have higher BP during acute withdrawal - until about 4 months.  135/90-100.  In the past few months it has returned to 120/80 or lower.  I dont' know if that helps, but I have this borderline BP all through tolerance, too.

I know that high BP can be hereditary, and my doctor told me that he has plenty of patients that do eveyrthing right - diet, exercise, and STILL have high BP and have to be medicated. 

I am so sorry you are going through this. I hope that it begins to come down on its own.

You mention that you're just starting to see improvement after 8 months - maybe you will see improvement in this area, too.


I have had to take tramadol - but at lower doses (50mg) - before.  It does amp up my BP when I've taken it, so maybe you're recovering from both. 




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Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate you taking so much time and leaving so much detail.


Just to let you know, I have been seeing a doctor regularly and she has tried every kind of bp medicine, including all the various categories. The only one that works is Clonidine and that's why I'm still taking it. I've been through a dozen medications over several months and nothing has much effect. I'm in excellent physical shape, am thin, always exercised, don't smoke, good diet, low cholesterol, and have no other issues except the withdrawal. I've been tested for kidney, liver and other issues and the doctors can't find anything. I am 52 but it seems quite the coincidence that all this started with w/d and shot up so high so fast.


I guess I'll keep going through the list of available drugs until I find something... or pop.


Thank you!

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In light of the normal testing ask her about the possibility of renal artery stenosis or RAS.

The test for it is a doppler ultrasound of the renal arteries or an MRA.  The basic blood tests don't show this.  If you have had a angiotensinogen test or serum renin and aldesterone, that may, but most docs don't order that. 


Please don't try to stop the Clonidine suddenly, because you WILL have the rebound hypertension.


Good luck.  I know this sucks.....

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Yes LostDog it seems more than a coincidence that your extremely high BP came about with withdrawal.  You, like me, are doing everything under your control to be healthy.    When you enumerate all that your doctor has done as well, it is baffling.  Are you seeing a nephrologist?  They are the BP specialists since many times hypertension is a result of kidney disease and so they have to manage it a lot.  I don't have kidney disease but I see a nephrologist for my BP problems.  Please keep us posted, I am interested in how you are doing.  And as Skyy has said so eloquently already, yes this does SUCK.



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