Discharge Instructions for Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
You have been diagnosed with hypotension. When you have hypotension, your blood pressure is lower than normal. Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy or faint. This condition is sometimes a side effect of taking certain medicines, including medicines for high blood pressure (hypertension). It can also result from medical conditions such as dehydration.
These steps can help manage your condition:
Follow your health care provider’s instructions.
Rest in bed and ask for help with daily activities until you feel better. You may need to slowly increase the amount of time you spend sitting or doing light activity.
Don’t drive while your blood pressure is not controlled.
Be careful when you get up from sitting or lying down.
Take your time. Sudden movements can cause dizziness or fainting.
When you first sit up after lying down, be sure to sit in bed for 30 seconds or so before getting up to walk.
Tell your health care provider about the medicines you are taking. Many kinds of medicines trigger low blood pressure.
Limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. Alcohol can dehydrate you even further. It can also interfere with the effectiveness of medicines.
Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider.
Learn to take your own blood pressure. Keep a record of your results. Ask your health care provider which readings mean that you need medical attention.
Tell your family members to call an ambulance if you become unconscious. Ask them to learn CPR.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed.
Call 911 right away if you have:
Shortness of breath
When to call your health care provider
Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the following:
Dizziness or fainting spells
Black, maroon, or tarry stools
Severe upper back pain
Diarrhea or vomiting that doesn’t go away
Inability to eat or drink
Burning sensation when you urinate
Urine with a strong, unpleasant odor
Fainting with exercise
December 11, 2017
Goldstein DS., Neurogenic Orthostatis Hypotention, Circulation (2009); 119; pp. 139-146
Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN,Gandelman, Glenn, MD, MPH