Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said blood pressure medicines do not increase the risk of infection, serious illness or death from the novel coronavirus.
“It is perfectly safe to continue your blood pressure medication during the Covid pandemic,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“People have apprehensions that ACE inhibitors and ARBs, two classes of drugs that are widely prescribed for high blood pressure increase the risk of Covid infection and the likelihood of severe illness among those infected with the novel virus,” he said.
“ACE inhibitors include enalapril, lisinopril, captopril and other drugs with generic names ending in –april; ARBs include Losartan, telmisartan, olmesartan and other generic drugs ending in –sartan,” he added.
Dr Nisar said speculations about worse outcomes among patients on these medications during the Covid pandemic have caused widespread anxiety among patients and their care providers.
Quoting three studies published in New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Nisar said no link was found between the use of blood pressure drugs and coronavirus infection.
“It was also revealed that patients on these drugs faced no increase in risk of becoming severely ill with Covid infection,” he added.
Dr Nisar said the articles showed no association between use of the two classes of blood pressure drugs of concern and dying from Covid-19.
“In fact, some studies suggest that these drugs might reduce lung injury in people infected with the novel virus,” he said.
Dr Nisar said it is vitally important to keep your blood pressure well controlled and take medication as advised.
“Having high blood pressure has been associated with higher rate of dying from Covid-19,” he said.
“People should stick with their blood pressure medication because high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure,” said Dr Nisar.