Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Patients often ask the Pharmacist how to select and use home blood pressure monitors. Home monitoring is appropriate for any patient with hypertension, especially if you suspect “White Coat” or resistant hypertension. It can confirm  office BPs; may boost medication adherence and improve BP control. Suggest a validated BP monitor with a memory ( LifeSource, Omron, etc) Recommend an automatic upper ARM monitor for most, with a cuff where the inflatable rubber bladder encircles at least 80%of the arm Wrist monitors are not as reliable as arm monitors.If a large arm cuff does not fit emphasize keeping their wrist still  and at heart level during the test. Generally patient should check BP before taking their BP medications and at lease 30 minutes after exercise, smoking, or caffeine However, caffeine may not increase BP acutely in regular users. Tell patient to sit first for about 5 minutes, with their back supported, feet on the floor, and legs uncrossed. Patient should support their arm at heart level and not talk. Take an average of 2 or 3 readings at least 1 minute apart Recommend patients compare their home BP monitor reading against a professional manual check and recheck it annually,