The last thing you’d expect from a blood pressure med is an increased cardiovascular risk–yet that’s what may be happening with one common drug.
Two recent clinical trials indicate that patients who take olmesartan–sold under the name Benicar–have a higher rate of death due to heart-related problems than patients taking a placebo.
So naturally, the FDA is telling patients to keep taking these drugs while they "evaluate" the new data.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to act.
The long-term studies, carried out on diabetics, were actually created to see if these meds could slow either the diabetes or reduce the risk of kidney problems.
Instead, they found one more potentially disastrous side effect.
In the first study, more than 4,400 patients were given either the med or a placebo. Fifteen people taking the meds died of stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular problem, versus just three in the placebo group.
The second study involved 557 patients. Again there were just three heart-related deaths in the placebo group– versus 10 of the patients who had been taking Benicar.
A small risk overall? Maybe. But why risk it at all?
Some people might think this means it’s time to switch meds… but the truth is, it’s time to get off these drugs completely. All of them have problems, and–as the new studies show–we may not even be aware of all the possible side effects yet.
So instead of changing prescriptions, change your approach. Blood pressure is something you can control on your own, without drugs, by simply committing to the same lifestyle changes that will also make you healthier than you’ve ever been in your entire life.
Switch to a diet of real food–and avoid anything that comes ready to heat and eat. That means no cans, boxes, freezer bags or anything that might come with fries and a soda.
In addition, consider some of the key nutrients that have helped millions of people overcome their blood pressure problems naturally. Make sure you’re getting at least three times as much potassium as sodium–which, for most people, will mean seriously cutting back on the salt (something you can do easily if you give up those packaged, processed foods).
Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3) can also help–just be sure to get it from either diet or a simple, natural supplement and not one of Big Pharma’s expensive lab- created nutrients or combo drugs.
And of course the great omega-3 fatty acids you can get from fish oil may also help lower your blood pressure.
Edward Martin is a health journalist who writes about today's most pressing health issues. He chronicles the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating everything from diabetes to cancer and reports on the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.