Yes, you should keep taking your blood pressure medicine!

Some doctors have worried that a person who takes either of two similar blood pressure medications, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), could more easily catch COVID-19 and endure a more serious case if they do catch it. These caretakers noticed that many people who became very sick or died from COVID-19 were taking these medications, so they worried that the way these drugs work might make patients who take them more vulnerable to this novel coronavirus.

While this is perhaps a reasonable hypothesis, no evidence today suggests that this potential link is a cause for concern. We already know that older people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, and that older people are also more likely to take medication for high blood pressure. So far, any connection between COVID-19 and these medicines could be a coincidence.  

In fact, some doctors have argued that the opposite could be possible: taking these medications may help treat the lung problems caused by COVID-19. And others have pointed out that they might still be needed to help tackle heart problems that are sometimes associated with the disease.

One thing doctors know for sure is that ACE inhibitors and ARBs are essential medications for high blood pressure, heart failure, and kidney conditions. Quitting them cold turkey could result in a stroke, heart attack, or another major problem. If you think you have COVID-19, call your doctor to get a personalized recommendation. But in the meantime, you should keep taking your blood pressure medication.

Last updated April 1,202 9:29 pm ET
Science review: ERS, JAB