This condition is life threatening, so it is important to quickly find and treat the problem.
A person with symptoms of autonomic hyperreflexia should:
- Sit up and raise their head
- Remove tight clothing
Proper treatment depends on the cause. If medications or drugs are causing the symptoms, those drugs must be stopped. Any illness that is causing the symptoms needs to be treated. For example, the health care provider will check for a blocked urinary catheter and signs of constipation.
If a slowing of the heart rate is causing the symptoms, drugs called anticholinergics (such as atropine) may be used.
Very high blood pressure needs to be treated quickly but carefully, because the blood pressure can drop suddenly. Commonly used emergency drugs for high blood pressure include:
- Diazoxide (Hyperstat)
- Mecamylamine (Inversine)
- Nifedipine (Procardia)
- Phenoxybenzamine hydrochloride (Dibenzyline)
You may need a pacemaker for an unstable heart rhythm.