Antihypertensive drugs and coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

High blood pressure can lead to long and short-term negative effects on the cardiovascular and renal systems. For people living with diabetes, it is defined as a systolic (upper number) pressure of more than 130 mmHg and a diastolic (lower number) pressure of more than 80 mmHg.

People living with type 1 diabetes are often prescribed “antihypertensive” medications. These medications lower blood pressure. Among others, ACE inhibitors (Rampril/Alatace; Perindipril/Coversyl, etc.) and AROs (Irbesartan/Avapro; telmisartan/Micradis, etc.) are the antihypertensive drugs of choice because they are very effective and well tolerated. They also offer the advantage of reducing the risk of renal complications.

Hypertension Canada’s press release on these medications

There is some information on the internet that these two classes of drugs may increase the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 or worsen the prognosis. Hypertension Canada has issued a press release to set the record straight.

This information is FALSE!

There is no evidence that these antihypertensive drugs cause a higher health risk in the current coronavirus disease situation (COVID-19).

Discontinuing these drugs exposes people to significant risks. Upon reading this press release, we recommend that you continue your usual treatment for blood pressure control and kidney protection.

However, these medications may need to be discontinued when a person is very ill and dehydrated. This decision is usually made by an emergency doctor or the doctor responsible for hospitalization. However, this is not always the case. If such a situation should happen to you, it may be necessary to re-evaluate the use of these medications with a doctor.

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Link to Hypertension Canada: https://hypertension.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-30-15-Hypertension-Canada-Statement-on-COVID-19-ACEi-ARB.pdf