We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more

Can hypertensive drugs cause a flare-up of arthritis?

Q) I'm a 73-year-old woman, diagnosed with fibromyalgia 20 years ago. I've generally been able to manage this and take no medication other than vitamin supplements. My GP has begun treating me for hypertension. As I've recently been diagnosed with sicca syndrome (and am awaiting the results of a test for Sjögren’s) this provoked a major flare-up of the fibromyalgia. I wonder if other fibromyalgia patients experience difficulties in adapting to hypertensive drugs?
June, Gloucestershire (Summer 2011)

A) I don’t think this is a problem confined to fibromyalgia patients. People often take several anti-hypertensive drugs before they find one that suits them. The side-effects can be quite strange and cover a lot of symptoms. Fibromyalgia can be associated with dry eyes and mouth (sicca symptoms), both as an associated symptom and as a side-effect of drugs used to treat the disease, such as amitriptyline. Many people on amitriptyline (this class of drugs are known as tricyclics) complain of dryness.

This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell for the Summer 2011 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

Send your questions for Dr Tom Margham to

Keep up to date with the latest from Arthritis TodaySign up today.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.