Orthostatic hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands.
Measuring of Blood Pressure
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There are many causes. Some common ones are:
This problem is more common in people who are over 55 years of age, especially those with poorly controlled high blood pressure. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Your blood pressure will be measured going from lying down or sitting to standing. This may also be done using a tilt-table. This is all that is needed to make the diagnosis.
The goal of treatment is to ease or manage symptoms. This may include treating underlying health problems and:
There are no guidelines to prevent this problem. Older adults should talk to their doctors about the medicines they take.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Orthostatic hypotension information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Orthostatic-Hypotension-Information-Page. Updated March 27, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2019.
Orthostatic hypotension and orthostatic syncope. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/orthostatic-hypotension-and-orthostatic-syncope. Updated February 26, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2019.
3/24/2015 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/orthostatic-hypotension-and-orthostatic-syncope: Mills PB, Fung CK, et al. Nonpharmacologic management of orthostatic hypotension: A systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2015;96(20):366-375.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/7/2020