gilenya and high blood pressure

23Feb15

For the first time in my life… I’m having issues with consistent high blood pressure. I’m usually just within normal range… normal is 120/80, and I’m typically just below, roundabouts 115/70 or so. Just fine–not too low.

Then, I started taking this new (to me) MS drug, for which one of the side effects is elevated blood pressure. Immediately after taking it in the clinic, I noticed this effect. The entire day, while being observed, I was around 130-140/90. Whoa.

But I thought… just for a day or two, right? And it’ll drop back down, right? This is what all of the literature says…

But when I went to another medical appointment about 3 days later, it was the same. Sigh.

Now, I’m almost 3 weeks out from the initial dose, and I haven’t been checked, but I’m curious. I’ll have to wait for my recheck in a little bit.

But not only does this put the obvious strain on my body, but I take supplements to help with my MS (and migraines, and digestive issues…) and some of them say not to take with high blood pressure. (Specifically licorice root, which aids with stress, digestion, etc… I don’t know if my blood pressure is high enough to cause a problem, but it makes me wonder.)

Anyway–another issue of the treatment possibly being worse than the disease itself? We’ll have to see where my blood pressure stands…

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9 Responses to “gilenya and high blood pressure”

  1. I have the opposite effect with my meds. They make my resting heart rate low. Always an adventure! Although your blood pressure is higher than you’re used to, I think it is still within a “healthy range” for you? Keep us posted on they say in your follow up! 🙂

    • My initial resting heart rate was low, the first day–which is why I had to be monitored. In fact, a quick stride down the hall only got me up to 55bpm (and the assistant didn’t seem worried, which disturbed me… I stayed up late enough that night in case I still had trouble, but I’m still alive! ha ha!)

      I’m about to call for my follow-up–I think they’re in the office.

  2. It’s possible that it could be normal now but you’re nervous getting it taken so it rockets back up when you go to the doctor’s office. My doctor had me buy a home tester because it’s often high when I go in because I’m nervous about it being high (go figure lol.) Completely normal at home though.

    It could be the med but hopefully not if you’re tolerating it well otherwise. Good luck! 🙂

    • I’ve never had a White Coat Syndrome issue before….. not that it can’t suddenly crop up. And, it was never high until I started taking this stuff.

      I have a follow-up in a few weeks, and another appt for something else on Wednesday where I have my BP checked, so I’m curious what it’s going to be!

      • I didn’t either until it was high once and now that I know it’s normal at home it’s normal at the doctor again. Just hoping for you that maybe it was a fluke and it’s normal next time!

  3. 6 Steve Yool

    The BP seems only a tad higher than normal for you, and given your exercise ethic and diet regimen, it may be back in your normal range when you’re not at the M.D? I have chronic whitecoat syndrome (the systolic jumps), but my machine gives me lower numbers at home. I’ve taken to taking theanine, which has been shown to lower BP—at least that part of BP coupled to stress. :- )

  4. I also think checking at home is a good idea. I don’t think they are very expensive.

  5. I’m curious. It’s been over a year. Are you still having high blood pressure due to this drug?

    • Hi Annette,
      Unfortunately (fortunately?) I had to stop taking Gilenya and go back on Rebif over the summer. Too many infections from my low white blood cell count…


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