How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Healthy Salad
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High blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.1 People with high blood pressure typically exhibit no symptoms. If the condition is left untreated, the damage left on your circulatory system can significantly impact your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other heart threats. While there are risk factors you can’t control, there are many steps you can take to help prevent and manage high blood pressure.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet2

A well-balanced diet is an essential tool in managing your blood pressure. It’s important to limit your sodium intake along with saturated/trans fats, red meat and sweets. It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake. With a healthy diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains, you can reduce your blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. Click here to find a list of healthy, high blood pressure friendly recipes.

Get Moving

Physical activity has a lot of positive health benefits. Not only will it help manage your high blood pressure, but it will also help strengthen your heart and assist in maintaining a healthy weight. If you want to start exercising, there’s no need to immediately begin running marathons. Start out where you’re comfortable, any amount of exercise is better than none. Try mixing it up by taking different classes, this will help you stay interested and build the habit.

Take your Medications Properly

Lifestyle changes are not the only solutions to high blood pressure, there are many medication options that can assist you in improving your health. It’s very important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and taking your medications as prescribed.

Have any Medication Questions?

Reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-blood-pressure-with-a-heart-healthy-diet

Valsartan Recall

Recall

The FDA has recently released a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan. These medications are primarily used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The FDA will continue to investigate this issue and provide additional information when it becomes available. The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Why is it being recalled?

The FDA identified a cancer-causing impurity within the recalled products based on laboratory test results. They believe the impurity is a result of the way the active substance was manufactured. Due to this, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.

What products are recalled? 

Any updates will be included at the bottom of this article.

Medicine Company
Valsartan Major Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan Solco Healthcare
Valsartan Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Solco Healthcare
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

Next steps you should take

  • Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.
  • To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle. If the information is not on the bottle, patients should contact the pharmacy that dispensed the medicine.
  • If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines listed below, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
  • Patients should also contact their health care professional (the pharmacist who dispensed the medication or doctor who prescribed the medication) if their medicine is included in this recall to discuss their treatment, which may include another valsartan product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.

Need help?

Contact your Tria Health pharmacist today for additional assistance with the recall process: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm613532.htm

Updates:

Update [11/27/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Teva’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [11/21/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Mylan’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [10/24/2018] – FDA updates recalled valsartan-containing product information

Study shows medication adherence improves through health coaching

Working one-on-one with a medical professional may improve the rate at which chronic condition patients take their medications correctly, according to a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. After participating in health coaching for a year, medication rates among patients with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol had increased.

The study looked at patients between the ages of 18 and 75 who had uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The patients were split into two groups, the first receiving health coaching for 12 months and the second continuing with their normal care. At the end of the year, adherence reported by the health coaching group had improved significantly while adherence reported by the usual care group did not improve, and in some cases, worsened by the end of the study.

Patients who participated in the health coaching reporting reported a 23 percent increase in the number of patients who reported taking their medications exactly as prescribed for at least five of the last seven days. The group that had continued with their usual care reported a 5 percent decrease.

Increased patient knowledge, patient counseling and active patient participation are already known to improve medication adherence. Health coaches may have more time to spend with patients, and this may have impacted the participants’ engagement with their treatment and influenced their medication adherence. The health coaches also worked with patients on healthy lifestyle changes, which also may have impacted change.

The study cites statistics about the high cost to the U.S. healthcare system caused by medication nonadherence. About half of medications prescribed for chronic conditions aren’t used correctly, which contributes to more than $200 billion in avoidable costs to the health care system each year.

For more information about how Tria Health works to improve medication adherence among our patients, visit our website.

New Year’s Resolution: Maintain a HEALTHY Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health conditions seen in the United States.  Elevated blood pressure leads to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and death if undetected.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

New guidelines state:

  • People < 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 140/90 mmHg
  • People > 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 150/90 mmHg

How to achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your blood pressure down. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable in addition to foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Also limit amount of daily caffeine found in coffee, teas and soda.
    High sodium is a known culprit for increasing blood pressure.  Try to decrease the amount of sodium you add to you foods.  Be aware that many processed foods (including canned soups and frozen “healthy” meals) and restaurant meals are high in sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your blood pressure. Losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
  • Stop smoking!  Smoking increases your blood pressure while increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and breathing complications

If lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your blood pressure at goal, medications may need to be added.  Usually one medication is started and the dose is increased until you are able to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.  A second or even third medication may need to be added if blood pressure remains elevated after one month of treatment.

If you have questions, call the Tria Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.