High blood pressure: Seven warning signs emergency care is required – complications


Typically, sustained high blood pressure has no physical warning signs, hence why it has been dubbed the “silent killer”. However, extremely high blood pressure could cause bodily sensations alerting you to the fact that you need medical care. If you experience severe chest pain, this could be a symptom of a hypertensive crisis, and you should dial 999. If you – or somebody close to you – experiences a severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision, ring for an ambulance.

Seven warning signs of extremely high blood pressure:

  1. Severe chest pain
  2. Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Severe anxiety
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Seizures
  7. Unresponsiveness.

“Treatment for hypertensive crisis may include hospitalisation for treatment with oral or intravenous medication,” said the Mayo Clinic.


A hypertensive emergency could mean that you’re currently having a stroke, heart attack, or experiencing kidney or heart failure.

Such an emergency situation could be attributed to forgetting your daily blood pressure medication.

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I have forgotten to take my high blood pressure medication

The NHS advises those in this situation to “take it as soon as you remember that day and then carry on as normal”.

“If you forget to take the dose for the whole day, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal the next day,” the NHS instructed.

Do not take double doses of your high blood pressure medication to make up for the forgotten dosage.


“If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you,” the NHS suggested.

However, if you’re still suffering from side effects, and it’s been a while since you’ve been taking the medication, talk to your doctor.

Possible blood pressure medication side effects

  • Dry cough
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Faintness

The full list of side effects will be noted on the leaflet that comes with your medication.

“Make sure your doctor or nurse knows about all the medicines you are taking, including herbal medicines and over-the-counter treatments like cold remedies,” said Blood Pressure UK.


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