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High blood pressure and driving

High blood pressure and driving

Daily Life with high blood pressure: Living life to the full

Q. Can I still drive if I have high blood pressure?

A. If you have high blood pressure then you should be able to drive a car or a motorcycle for personal use with no problem. However, if your blood pressure medicines cause side-effects (problems) that could interfere with your ability to drive, then you may have to give up driving or find a different medicine. For example, beta-blocker medicines may cause you to feel dizzy or tired and if this happens to you, you may not be able to drive and, with your doctor's help, you will need to find another medicine.

However, the medical standards for driving buses and large lorries are much higher than for those driving a car or motorcycle. This is because the vehicles are much larger and heavier and because you may spend much more time behind the wheel, especially if driving is part of your job.

If your resting blood pressure is consistently 180mmHg systolic (top or maxiumum number) or more and/or 100mmHg diastolic (bottom or minimum number) or more then you cannot drive a bus or large lorry. But the good news is that once your blood pressure has been lowered and is under control, you can then be re-licensed.

This medical standard also applies to driving a taxi, manning a boat or ship with passengers or flying an aircraft with passengers.

For more about how having high blood pressure may affect your job, please see Do I need to tell my employers that I have high blood pressure?

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Under 40s

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