Can ssri cause high blood pressure?

Are you one of those people who prefer popping a pill to deal with everyday stress and anxiety? Well then, chances are that you have come across the wonder drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This modern-day panacea is commonly used for treating depression, panic attacks and other psychological disorders. But can these drugs also cause high blood pressure? Let’s find out!

Understanding SSRIs

First things first, let’s understand what an SSRI actually is. In layman terms, it is a type of antidepressant medication that helps increase levels of serotonin in your brain by blocking its absorption into the nerve cells – this leads to improved mood and reduced anxiety for most people. That being said, SSRIs might not be everyone’s cup of tea as they may lead to side effects like nausea, headaches or even sexual dysfunction cue sad music.

The Relationship Between SSRIs and Blood Pressure

So now let’s get down to brass tacks – the million-dollar question: can SSRIs cause high blood pressure? Before I answer this question,let me give you some perspective on how we measure blood pressure:

  • Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) – The top number which indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
  • Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) – The bottom number which measures arterial pressure between heartbeats.

Got it? Great! Now back to our query- according to some studies conducted over the years,the long-term use of SSRIs do seem correlated with increased SBPs but not with DBPs.However,these findings reflect observations at best,and hence cannot be considered conclusive evidence.

Let Me Break It Down For You

Here are quick bullet points on what we’ve covered so far:
An SSRI blocks absorption of serotonin leading to better moods and reduced anxiety but can cause side effects like headaches or sexual dysfunction.
Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) are the two ways we measure blood pressure.
Studies only show a correlation between long-term SSRI use and increased SBPs, not DBPs.

Short-Term vs Long-Term SSRI Use

In short-term use of SSRIs,there isn’t much evidence to suggest that these drugs negatively affect blood pressure. However, when it comes to long-term usage (that’s anything over six months), things start getting a bit more complicated.

Let me explain – one theory suggests that prolonged SSRI usage may lead to higher levels of stress hormones called catecholamines. These pesky little buggers can cause your heart rate to increase resulting in an elevated SBP. Butthis suggestion is purely theoretical at best and yet to be substantiated by any scientific evidence.

Let Me Break It Down For You

Here are quick bullet points on what we’ve covered so far:
There isn’t much evidence suggesting negative impacts on blood pressure with short term uses.
Prolonged SSRI usage could lead to increased levels of stress hormones called catecholamines which in turn results in heightened systolic blood pressure.

Can Any Specific Type Of SSRIs Affect Blood Pressure More Than Others?

Alright now let’s get specific here- Are there any particular types of SSRIs that have stronger links with high blood pressure? Well,some research does suggest that some drugs like sertraline or fluoxetine generally have bigger impact as compared to others.Therefore clinicians might switch patients from those medications if repeated measurements reveal sustained increases in their patients’ BP numbers,but again,these findings need further investigation before they can be considered conclusive.

Let Me Break It Down For You

Here are quick bullet points on what we’ve covered so far:
Some types of SSRIs such as sertraline or fluoxetine might be linked to higher incidences of high blood pressure.
Clinicians may switch patients from these medications if there is a sustained increase in blood pressure.

Managing Blood Pressure Levels While On SSRIs

So now that you know about the correlations between SSRI and blood pressure, you must be wondering whether it is safe to keep taking your antidepressants without fretting every time an elevated BP raises their head. Well my dear readers,there’s no need to panic – here are some simple tips on how can manage hypertension while taking SSRIs:

Engage In Exercise

According to studies, engaging in regular physical activity like strength training yoga swimming or even light aerobics could offer considerable benefit for individuals with chronic fatigue caused by SSRI use.

Regulate Your Salt Intake

Heaps of salt can do harm in keeping an already beaten down heart healthier.Therefore reduce your sodium intake; swap processed food (high on salt content) with whole-grain cereals,vegetables,and fruits leading to gradual lowering of BP numbers.

Avoid Getting Stressed Out

Stressful situations inevitably raise BP.Try incorporating activities which counteract life stresses,such as relaxation techniques,mindfulness meditation therapy etc.,in order to help manage anxiety associated with taking prescribed medications.And remember,staying well-rested reduces anxiety levels respectively making lowering your Hypertension much easier.

And voila! Just follow the above-mentioned tidbits et voilà-you’ll navigate managing hypertension whilst receiving the benefits attributed towards antidepressant style relief.What sounds more appealing than watching those systolic blood pressures dwindle away?


Wrapping up everything I’ve discussed,I really hope this article clears out any doubts you had pertaining drugs like SSRIs elevating long-term SBPs but then againlet’s not forget these findings are based on observations alone and are yet to be substantiated.With that said, it doesn’t hurt to check your BP regularly in consultation with your doctor. If you come across any abnormal results then it should bring up the conversation for a possible switch of medications — but only after consulting an expert.Not exactly rocket science folks!