Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Yes, some blood pressure medications can affect triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Hydrochlorothiazide is commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. It's from a class of medications called diuretics, more commonly called water pills. High doses — 50 milligrams or more — of some diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide, can temporarily increase your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol and triglycerides.
The good news is that the rise in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides usually returns to normal within a year of starting these medications. And, the mild effects the drug has on cholesterol and triglycerides don't outweigh the benefits from lowering blood pressure. Smaller doses of hydrochlorothiazide usually don't cause a rise in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Older beta blockers, such as propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL), atenolol (Tenormin) and metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), can slightly increase triglycerides and decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol. Typically this occurs in people who have a cluster of conditions (metabolic syndrome) that includes:
Newer beta blockers, such as carvedilol (Coreg) and nebivolol (Bystolic), are less likely to affect your cholesterol levels.
The older beta blocker drugs that can affect your cholesterol levels usually won't be one of the first drugs you're given as a treatment for high blood pressure. But, older beta blocker drugs are useful in specific situations, such as preventing recurrent heart disease or managing heart failure. In some cases, older beta blockers can be helpful in treating people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease or people who have migraines.
If you're worried about increasing triglyceride levels, talk to your doctor about making changes to your diet and exercise routine. Don't stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor.
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not for profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.