Is It Safe to Stop Taking Blood Pressure Medication Once You Start?

By Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
December 2, 2022

Key takeaways

  • Suddenly stopping your blood pressure medication may cause side effects and put you at high risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Always speak with your medical provider before discontinuing any medication, including blood pressure medication.

  • You may be able to taper off your blood pressure medication with the guidance of your medical provider and by making some lifestyle changes.

If you have been taking blood pressure medication for some time, you may be wondering if you can ever stop taking it. While it may be possible to stop, it is very important to discuss the possibility with your medical provider and follow their guidance. Suddenly stopping your medication may put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Read on to find out how to stop taking your blood pressure medicine safely with the help of your doctor.

How Blood Pressure Medication Works

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. When it’s too high, it puts extra strain on your heart and arteries. Over time, this can lead to heart disease, a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and other problems. Medications can help lower your blood pressure and prevent these complications.

There are many different types of blood pressure medications, but they all work in one of three ways:

  • Making it easier for your heart to pump blood.
  • Reducing the amount of water in your body by making you urinate more.
  • Relaxing your blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily.

Which medication is best for you depends on your health and the severity of your high blood pressure. Your medical provider will likely start you on a low dose and then increase it if needed. 

You may need to take more than one type of medication to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure. You also may need to make lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, eating a healthier diet, and quitting smoking.

Ask a doctor now.

Have a question? We have answers. Chat with a doctor now.

Get started

Can You Stop Taking Blood Pressure Medications?

Many people wonder if it is possible to stop taking blood pressure medication once their condition improves. While it is possible to do so, it is important to first talk to your medical provider. Stopping your medication suddenly may cause your blood pressure to spike, which can be dangerous. 

Instead, your doctor will likely recommend slowly tapering off the medication over a period of time. By doing so, you can avoid rebound hypertension and ensure your blood pressure stays controlled.

In some cases, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise may be enough to keep blood pressure under control. Ultimately, the decision to stop taking blood pressure medication should be made in consultation with your medical professional. Stopping medication without their approval can be dangerous.

Risks

It is important to always follow your medical provider’s orders when it comes to taking medication. This is especially true for medications that are designed to regulate blood pressure. 

If you stop taking your blood pressure medicine suddenly without consulting a doctor, you may have some serious side effects, such as:

In extreme cases, sudden discontinuation of blood pressure medication can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Therefore, it is always best to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen.

Weaning Off Blood Pressure Medication Over Time

Many people with high blood pressure take medication to help lower their numbers. While this can be an important first step in managing hypertension, it is not always a long-term solution. In some cases, it may be possible to wean off blood pressure medication over time with the help of lifestyle changes and medical guidance. 

The key is to wean yourself off it slowly and carefully and monitor your blood pressure regularly. If you experience any adverse effects, such as a sudden spike in blood pressure, be sure to consult your medical provider immediately. 

Studies show that gradually tapering off of blood pressure medication may give several side effects, such as:

  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Palpitations
  • Swelling
  • A general feeling of unwell

Communicate with your medical provider if you experience any of these symptoms. 

Some simple steps that may help lower your blood pressure include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Managing stress. 

Making these changes can help to gradually lower blood pressure numbers, eventually eliminating the need for medication. 

Of course, everyone is different, and not everyone will be able to wean off the medication successfully. However, it is worth discussing with your medical professional to see if it is possible. They will be able to advise you on whether or not it’s safe to stop taking the medication.

Ask a doctor now.

Have a question? We have answers. Chat with a doctor now.

Get started

What Happens if I Miss a Dose of My Blood Pressure Medication?

Here are some steps to take if you miss a dose:

  • Do not double up on your medication.
  • Read the drug information on the medication packet you received from the pharmacist. Some medications come with instructions on what to do if you miss a dose.
  • If you are unsure, call your pharmacist or medical provider for help.
  • Work out a plan with them on how to take your next dose.
  • Let them know any concerns you have. 
  • Monitor your blood pressure.

Managing Blood Pressure From Home

K Health offers affordable and convenient access to highly qualified doctors to treat and manage high blood pressure.

You can meet with your K Health doctor from the comfort of your own home, all while knowing that you’re getting individualized and expert care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I ever get off blood pressure medication?
Yes, you may be able to get off blood pressure medication. You’ll need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle first. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, exercise regularly, and manage your weight. If you can't get your blood pressure down with diet and lifestyle changes alone, your medical provider may keep you on your medication.
How do I wean myself off blood pressure medicine?
If you're looking to get off your blood pressure medication, there are a few things you can do. First, discuss this possibility with your medical provider. It is important to wean off your medication under their guidance. Next, try eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise regularly, reduce your stress, and maintain an average weight.
What happens if you stop taking your high blood pressure medication?
If you stop taking your high blood pressure medication, you may experience a temporary increase in blood pressure. It also puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. It's important to consult with your doctor before stopping any medication.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN

Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years experience. He received his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from William Paterson University and his doctoral degree from Drexel University. He has spent his career working in the Emergency Room and Primary Care. The last 6 years of his career have been dedicated to the field of digital medicine. He has created departments geared towards this specialized practice as well as written blogs and a book about the topic.

Close button

Manage high blood pressure with K Health. Get medications and talk to a doctor from home.

Start Now