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Antihypertensives Blood Test

Last updated May 10, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The Antihypertensives Blood Test helps determine the levels of antihypertensives in blood. It is used when adjusting the initial dose, and to ensure that antihypertensive levels stay within an acceptable range.


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Antihypertensive Levels Blood Test
  • Antihypertensive Medications Blood Test
  • Blood Pressure Medications Blood Test

What is the Antiglomerular Antihypertensives Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Antihypertensives are cardiovascular drugs that decrease blood pressure. They are intended to prevent complications of high blood pressure, which include stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart failure
  • The most common antihypertensives include calcium channel blockers (CCBs), ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers
  • CCBs prevent the uptake of calcium ions (Ca2+), by muscle cells of the heart and arteries. This causes the heart to beat less forcefully and the arteries to widen, which decrease blood pressure
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors inhibit ACE and prevent the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a hormone that raises blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels and other effects
  • Beta-blockers bind to and deactivate beta-receptors on muscle cells of the heart and arteries. Beta-receptors allow for adrenaline and other stress hormones to stimulate these cells, increasing the force of heart contractions and narrowing blood vessels
  • When deactivated by beta-blockers, beta-receptors are unable to initiate the stress response within the heart and blood vessel muscle cells. This leads to a decrease in blood pressure
  • Like every other drug, antihypertensives must be kept within a certain range to prevent unwanted effects. If levels are too high, toxicity may result; if levels are too low, antihypertensives may not help lower the blood pressure
  • The Antihypertensives Blood Test helps determine the levels of antihypertensives in blood. It is used when adjusting the initial dose, and to ensure that antihypertensive levels stay within an acceptable range

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Antihypertensives Blood Test?

The clinical indications for performing the Antihypertensives Blood Test include monitoring antihypertensive therapy.

How is the Specimen Collected for the Antihypertensives Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Antihypertensives Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Antihypertensives Blood Test Result?

A high Antihypertensives Blood Test value may indicate antihypertensive medication toxicity, which is marked by:

  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Altered mental status
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Abnormal breathing

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Certain antihypertensive medications are merely diuretics. By increasing the rate of excretion of fluids, they decrease the volume of blood and lower blood pressure

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

The following DoveMed website links are some useful resources for additional information:

https://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/digoxin-blood-test/

https://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/hypertension/

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 31, 2015
Last updated: May 10, 2019