Rebound hypertension is a sudden increase in blood pressure that occurs when a person stops taking certain medications. It may occur when a person stops taking medications that help manage high blood pressure.
Doctors may prescribe certain drugs, known as antihypertensive medications, to treat a person with high blood pressure. In some cases, a person may have to take these drugs
Certain antihypertensive drugs, and other medications, may cause a person to develop rebound hypertension when they stop taking them.
Read on to learn more about rebound hypertension, including its causes, symptoms, treatment, and when to contact a doctor.
Rebound hypertension occurs when a person stops taking certain medications.
Medications that may cause rebound hypertension when a person stops taking them include:
- Beta-blockers: These are medications that healthcare professionals may prescribe to treat hypertension and other health conditions. A 2022 letter to the editor of the Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology noted that a sudden withdrawal from beta-blockers may cause a person to develop rebound hypertension.
- Clonidine: Doctors may prescribe this medication to treat hypertension and other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A
case study from 2022noted that withdrawal from clonidine may cause significant rebound hypertension.
- Tizanidine: This medication is a muscle relaxant. A
case study from 2019noted that tizanidine may cause rebound hypertension.
- Methyldopa: This medication is another antihypertensive drug. It may cause rebound hypertension in
- Guanfacine hydrochloride: Doctors may prescribe this medication to treat ADHD as well as hypertension. It may cause rebound hypertension, although the risk is low.
Additionally, sedatives may cause a person to develop rebound hypertension. Research from 2019 found that discontinuing sedatives after 3 days of continuous use could cause people to develop rebound hypertension. The sedatives included in the study were:
However, the authors of the research also noted that people with a history of hypertension were significantly more likely to have rebound hypertension than those who did not.
- tachycardia, which is a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute (bpm)
- flushed skin
- warm feeling
- brief lightheadedness
- tightness in the chest
- tremor before or during a rapid increase in blood pressure and an increase in catecholamine levels, which are hormones associated with stress responses
- difficulty seeing
When may symptoms occur?
The amount of time it takes for symptoms of rebound hypertension to develop can depend on the type of medication a person has stopped taking.
For example, rebound hypertension symptoms may occur 2–4 days after a person stops taking guanfacine hydrochloride. However, a case study from 2019 found that symptoms may occur just
A person should speak with their doctor about potential side effects before taking or stopping any medications. A doctor can offer further guidance on an individual basis.
A person should not stop taking any prescribed medication unless instructed to by their doctor. A person should also make sure to take any medications as instructed by a healthcare professional. This may help prevent conditions such as rebound hypertension.
A doctor may be able to treat rebound hypertension by
In some cases, a person may need to stop taking a certain medication. This may be due to side effects of the medication or no longer needing them. A doctor can help prevent rebound hypertension by gradually reducing the amount of medication a person is taking.
If a person has a hypertensive crisis, a doctor may treat them using intravenous fluids with blood pressure-controlling medications.
A person should speak with their doctor before they stop taking any medications. A doctor can help a person reduce their medication gradually or replace it with an alternative medication.
If a person has any symptoms of rebound hypertension, they should speak with their doctor immediately. A person should seek immediate medical attention if they are experiencing any symptoms of a hypertensive crisis.
If a person has hypertension, they should meet with their doctor regularly to monitor their blood pressure levels and symptoms.
Rebound hypertension may occur when a person stops taking certain medications. These medications may include antihypertensive drugs.
A person should not stop taking prescription medication without talking with their doctor. A doctor can help prevent rebound hypertension by slowly reducing the amount of medication a person is taking.
A person should speak with their doctor immediately if they have any signs of rebound hypertension. Additionally, a person should call 911 immediately if they experience any symptoms of a hypertensive crisis.