Will taking blood pressure medication impact the rate at which a person loses weight?

The rate at which a person loses weight varies among individuals and is affected by many factors such as age, gender, current weight and body size, lean to fat ratio, metabolism, physical activity, dietary compliance, etc.

Diuretics (like hydrochlorothiazide, Dyazide, or Maxzide) taken to help control high blood pressure tend to cause a temporary reduction in weight due to fluid loss. Since the body is composed of some 70% water, the shift can be significant but it does not “count” over the long haul; it does not affect fat content.

Beta blockers (like Atenolol or Tenormin, Propranolol or Inderal) slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate burns fewer calories. However, taking such medication will not prohibit losing weight and the rate at which a person loses is dependent on other factors as well.

Individuals who lose weight may be able to decrease their need for these medications or stop the medications altogether.