High Blood Pressure and Headache

High Blood Pressure and Headache

The general consensus is that high blood pressure does NOT cause headache.  (I could add that it could be the case in rare and serious situations – the times when your blood pressure is so high that you need to go immediately to the emergency room).

However, chronic pain may cause temporary high blood pressure (usually not dangerous).

Some medications for headache may cause high blood pressure if taken often (such as ibuprofen).

Read more at Is High Blood Pressure Causing My Headache?

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8 comments… add one
  • Tweet Tweet Lewis Apr 1, 2013

    this is so false. often times i know my b/p is up because if the certain type of headache it causes. and when a pt had an elevated b/p follow up questions in the assessment are “do you have a headache? chest pains? and/or dizziness?” of course pain causes b/p to elevate however the pressure caused by an increase of b/p can as well headache as well…smh

  • Stephanie Kerber Apr 1, 2013

    I would have to disagree. I used to suffer from dreadful migraines, particularly around the time of my period. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure two years ago and since I went on medication for the high BP I have only had two migraines. Of course it could be that the BP medication has cured the migraines, rather than the reduction in blood pressure.

    • James Apr 1, 2013

      Stephanie, you hit the nail on the head. Some blood pressure medications are actually used to treat migraine – but not because they lower blood pressure! So yes, it is very possible that your medications have helped diminish your migraine attacks.

  • Stephanie Kerber Apr 1, 2013

    I used to get very bad migraines, about 2 or 3 per month and especially around the time of my period. Two years ago I was diagnosed with high BP and put on medication. Since then I have only had two migraines. Don’t know whether it’s the reduction in BP that has cured the migraines, or the medication.

  • I realize not everyone will have the time to read the linked article, so here are a couple of things to briefly mention. First, Stephanie Kerber hit the nail on the head. Many hypertension meds are used to treat migraine, but not because they lower blood pressure. So it could very well be that Stephanie’s meds played a part in her diminished migraine attacks.

    Also, maybe it would be more accurate to say that high blood pressure generally doesn’t cause headache. It is a question from doctors because if it’s so high it’s causing headache it’s probably an emergency situation. It could be that Tweet Tweet Lewis is dealing with a situation where certain types of headache are impacting his blood pressure temporarily (during the headache). This would fit quite well with what he’s describing.

    It could also be mentioned that there is some controversy on this one – which is why I say that “the general consensus is…”. Although researchers generally believe that headache isn’t usually caused by hypertension, there are some who still think there is a connection.

  • Lena Welch Apr 2, 2013

    A lot of high blood pressure meds have been used for years to prevent migraine. It does make one wonder what they are actually doing to the body to fix the headache.

  • helen Apr 2, 2013

    When I get a severe headache my BP soars. I think, as you stated, that this is due to chronic pain but I can’t be sure. To hedge my bets I take BP medicine as a headache preventative. Either the pain causes the pressure or the pressure causes the pain (at least it would seem to some extent).

  • What about low blood pressure? Mine is ‘normal’ low meaning I’ve always been this way, my Bp is 90/60 on average. My doc wants to start me on bp meds as he agrees that the side effect of these meds is reliving migraines almost entirely. But, I’m low to start so I don’t believe this is my best option.
    I had a CT scan last week (which came back normal) as my migraines have suddenly changed. I used to get anywhere from 1-10 a month with a constant headache the rest of the time, now I get the aura (I have it now and cannot see much out of my right eye as its like barcodes are floating on that side. But I don’t have a migraine, yet, that’ll come within the hour. I see my doc tomorrow for follow up. Suggestions please???

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