Q. Will cutting down BP medicines have withdrawal effects?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Mar 17, 2016 and last reviewed on: Nov 21, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 34 year old male and would like to state that, I have been drinking alcohol moderately from age 26 to 29. From age 29 to 32, I have been drinking almost daily. Three years back, one morning I felt a very high anxiety and when approached the doctor the attendant there measured my blood pressure and told me that it is very high. He has not given me any medicine and advised me to visit the clinic at 4 PM, when the cardiologist would be there. I came back and after taking lunch felt absolutely normal. When I visited the cardiologist at 4 PM, he measured my BP and found it to be 135/85 mmHg, he also tested the ECG and sugar which were normal. He prescribed me Metoprolol 50 mg (daily) and Clonazepam 0.5 (daily) and strictly advised me to quit drinking completely. After few days, I drank Vodka heavily. Following his advice, I left drinking completely and kept visiting him every two months and each time my BP was almost normal, say in the range 120-135/80-90 mmHg. However, the doctor continued the medicine, though he tapered Clonazepam to 0.25 daily. For one year I did not touch alcohol, but after one year I used to take it occasionally, say some cans of beer once or twice a month. Still, I am on same medication, Metoprolol 0.5 mg (one tablet a day) and Clonazepam (0.25 every alternate day). 

My questions are is there any need for these medications? Can I quit taking such medicines? Will there be any withdrawal symptoms? What might be the cause of that sudden anxiety and high BP in morning and it got normal after taking lunch?

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Critical Care Physician Diabetology General Medicine Internal Medicine Medical Gastroenterology Nephrology Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors) Rheumatology
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, at that time there was actually a need to start medicines and this requires lifestyle modification followed by gradual tapering of drugs and stopping them if lifestyle modifications continue and BP and anxiety levels are under control.
  • So, in my opinion you should go ahead with the lifestyle changes and start with meditation.
  • Your drugs can be further tapered and stopped.
  • Make sure you only consume alcohol very occasionally and that too in very small amounts.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Hello doctor,

Suppose, if I do not have any BP issue and also left drinking alcohol then can I stop these medicines? If yes, will there be any serious withdrawal symptoms?

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Critical Care Physician Diabetology General Medicine Internal Medicine Medical Gastroenterology Nephrology Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors) Rheumatology
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • You will not have any withdrawal symptoms as it has been long that you are not consuming alcohol. Occasional alcohol consumption does not cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • So, you may go ahead with your doctor's advice for gradual tapering of medicines with blood pressure (BP) monitoring followed by complete stoppage of drugs in two to three weeks.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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