High Blood Pressure basics

Blood pressure is the force of blood in your blood vessels when your heart beats and when your heart rests. You have high blood pressure when the force is too great. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body and causes damage to the blood vessels.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is expressed as 2 numbers. These numbers represent the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels as the blood moves through them.

systolic blood pressure

is the pressure your blood exerts during heartbeats

Diastolic blood pressure

is the pressure your blood exerts while your heart is resting between beats

normal blood pressure

is less than 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic). Typically written as
120/80 mm Hg (read 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury).

NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
Less Than 120
Systolic mm Hg (Upper Number)
and
Less Than 80
Diastolic mm Hg (Lower Number)
ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURE
Less Than 120-129
Systolic mm Hg (Upper Number)
and
Less Than 80
Diastolic mm Hg (Lower Number)
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
(Hypertension) Stage 1
Less Than 130-139
Systolic mm Hg (Upper Number)
or
80-89
Diastolic mm Hg (Lower Number)
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
(Hypertension) Stage 2
140 or Higher
Systolic mm Hg (Upper Number)
or
90 or Higher
Diastolic mm Hg (Lower Number)
HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS
(Consult Your Doctor Immediately)
Higher Than 180
Systolic mm Hg (Upper Number)
and/or
Higher Than 120
Diastolic mm Hg (Lower Number)

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

During a regular physical exam, a doctor uses a blood pressure cuff (also called a sphygmomanometer) to check blood pressure.

The doctor inflates the cuff by squeezing the bulb.

The doctor then releases the air from the cuff and listens with a stethoscope for the sound of blood passing through blood vessels.

The pressure at which the sound is first heard is called systolic blood pressure.

The pressure at which the doctor can no longer hear the sound is called diastolic blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

People with high blood pressure usually experience no symptoms unless their blood pressure is extremely high or they have had high blood pressure for a long time. Rarely, patients may experience headaches or vomiting.

What happens if high blood pressure goes untreated?

If high blood pressure is left untreated, it may cause serious complications.

People with extremely high blood pressure (the upper number, systolic, higher than 180 and/or the lower number, diastolic, higher than 120) or who have had high blood pressure for a long time, may experience damage to:

  • Major organs, such as the heart, brain, and kidneys
  • Small blood vessels in the eyes (retinopathy)

That’s why your doctor will measure your blood pressure during every visit and why annual exams are so important.

I have high blood pressure. now what?

If you have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should take it seriously. There are positive steps you can take, including making lifestyle changes and taking medicine to help. Your doctor may recommend that you also check your blood pressure regularly.

Learn the causes of high blood pressure: some may be under your control.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND SAFETY OF BYSTOLIC?

Discover the many reasons to ask your doctor about BYSTOLIC.

See Benefits & safety

DOWNLOAD THE DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE

Are you at risk or currently taking medication for high blood pressure? Use this guide to help you talk to your doctor.*

*This Doctor Discussion Guide is provided to assist you with discussions with your healthcare provider only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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INDICATIONS AND IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION


What is BYSTOLIC?

BYSTOLIC is a prescription medicine that belongs to a group of medicines called “beta blockers.” BYSTOLIC is used, often with other medicines, to treat adults with high blood pressure (hypertension). BYSTOLIC is not approved for use in children under 18 years of age.

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Important Risk Information about BYSTOLIC
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Important Risk Information
Important Risk Information about BYSTOLIC
Who should NOT take BYSTOLIC?

Do not take BYSTOLIC if you:

  • Have heart failure and are in the ICU or need medicines to keep up your blood circulation.
  • Have a slow heartbeat or your heart skips beats (irregular heartbeat)
  • Have severe liver damage
  • Are allergic to any ingredient in BYSTOLIC. The active ingredient is nebivolol.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BYSTOLIC?

Before starting BYSTOLIC, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have asthma or other lung problems (such as bronchitis or emphysema)
  • Have problems with blood flow in your feet and legs (peripheral vascular disease). BYSTOLIC can make symptoms of blood flow problems worse.
  • Have diabetes and take medicine to control blood sugar
  • Have thyroid problems
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have had allergic reactions to medications or have allergies
  • Have a condition called pheochromocytoma (rare adrenal gland tumor)
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. It is not known if BYSTOLIC is safe for your unborn baby. Talk with your doctor about the best way to treat your high blood pressure while you are pregnant.
  • Are breastfeeding. It is not known if BYSTOLIC passes into your breast milk. You should not breastfeed while using BYSTOLIC.
  • Are scheduled for surgery and will be given anesthetic agents
  • Have had acute angina (symptoms include chest pain or discomfort) or an MI (heart attack) as BYSTOLIC has not been studied in patients with these conditions.

Also, to avoid a potentially serious or life-threatening condition, tell your healthcare provider if you are taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal products, including:

  • Certain CYP2D6 inhibitors (such as some antiarrhythmics like quinidine or propafenone or certain antidepressants such as fluoxetine or paroxetine, etc).
  • Other beta blockers
  • Digitalis
  • Certain calcium channel blockers (such as verapamil and diltiazem)
  • Antiarrhythmic agents (such as disopyramide)
What are the possible side effects of BYSTOLIC?

The most common side effects people taking BYSTOLIC report are headache, fatigue (tiredness), dizziness (if you feel dizzy, sit or lie down and tell your doctor right away), diarrhea, nausea, insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep), chest pain, bradycardia (slow heartbeat), dyspnea (shortness of breath), rash, and peripheral edema (leg swelling due to fluid retention). Other possible side effects include masking (hiding) the symptoms of low blood sugar and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), especially a fast heartbeat. Tell your doctor if you gain weight or have trouble breathing while taking BYSTOLIC.

This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What other information do I need to know about taking BYSTOLIC?
  • Do not stop taking BYSTOLIC suddenly. You could have chest pain or a heart attack. If your doctor decides that you should stop taking BYSTOLIC, he or she will lower your dose slowly and over time.
  • Take BYSTOLIC every day exactly as your doctor tells you. Your doctor will tell you how much BYSTOLIC to take and how often. Your doctor may start with a low dose and raise it over time.
  • Do not stop taking BYSTOLIC or change your dose without talking with your doctor.
  • BYSTOLIC can be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, take your dose as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time to take your next dose. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. Take your next dose at the usual time.
  • If you take too much BYSTOLIC, call your doctor or poison control center right away.
What is BYSTOLIC?

BYSTOLIC is a prescription medicine that belongs to a group of medicines called “beta blockers.” BYSTOLIC is used, often with other medicines, to treat adults with high blood pressure (hypertension). BYSTOLIC is not approved for use in children under 18 years of age.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?

Blood pressure is the force in your blood vessels when your heart beats and when your heart rests. You have high blood pressure when the force is too great.

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body and causes damage to the blood vessels. BYSTOLIC tablets can help your blood vessels relax so your blood pressure is lower. Medicines that lower your blood pressure lower your chance of having a stroke or heart attack.