Should patients taking medications that can affect the heart be given stress tests?
Generally, any patient can undergo a cardiac stress test. In patients taking medications for blood pressure, such as β-blockers or calcium channel blockers, the medication may prevent the patient from achieving the necessary heart rate. In such patients, it is recommended that the medications be stopped for approximately 24 hours before the study, unless the ordering physician wants to determine the presence or absence of inducible ischemia while the patient is taking these medications. If a patient has severe hypertension, the patient may need to be tested while taking the medication for this condition because without the medication, the blood pressure would be too high to proceed safely with the study.