Can some blood pressure medicines raise triglycerides?

Answer From Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.

Yes, some blood pressure medicines can affect triglyceride and cholesterol levels. These include certain diuretics and beta blockers.


Thiazide diuretics are medicines often used to treat high blood pressure. High doses of these medicines can cause a temporary rise of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the "bad" cholesterol. Smaller doses usually don't raise cholesterol and triglycerides.

Thiazide diuretics include:

  • Hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Chlorthalidone (Thalitone).
  • Indapamide
  • Metolazone.

The effects of these medicines on cholesterol and triglycerides are mild. The benefits they have on lowering blood pressure outweigh these effects.

Beta blockers

Older beta blockers can slightly raise triglycerides and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also called the "good" cholesterol. This side effect may be more likely in people who smoke. Newer beta blockers are less likely to affect cholesterol levels.

Older beta blockers include:

  • Propranolol (Innopran XL).
  • Atenolol (Tenormin).
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL).

Newer beta blockers include:

  • Carvedilol (Coreg).
  • Nebivolol (Bystolic).

If you're worried about raising triglyceride levels, talk to your healthcare team. They can offer guidance on healthy eating and exercise. Don't stop taking any prescribed medicines without talking to your care team first.

April 12, 2024