Safe Cold And Flu Alternatives For High Blood Pressure
You dont need to put up with cold or flu symptoms if you have high blood pressure, DePalma says, because safe alternatives exist.
Look for labels that state the medication is safe for people with high blood pressure or heart disease. Medications labeled HBP or decongestant-free are usually safe and not associated with heart risks, she says.
Cold medications that contain expectorants like guaifenesin , cough suppressants like dextromethorphan, and/or acetaminophen for fever reduction and pain relief, are likely safe for people with high blood pressure, she continues. For example, Tylenol contains acetaminophen and Mucinex contains guaifenesin, although always check labels.
Other treatments, such as intranasal sprays, throat lozenges, and humidifiers/vaporizers may help relieve cold and flu symptoms, DePalma says.
Pseudoephedrine And High Blood Pressure Interaction
In 2005, a study showed that pseudoephedrine increased systolic blood pressure and heart rate, but had no effect on diastolic blood pressure.1 They also found that higher doses and immediate-release formulations of pseudoephedrine were associated with higher blood pressures.1 In addition, the study revealed that patients with well controlled hypertension had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures after taking immediate release pseudoephedrine formulations.1
Does Anxiety Medication Lower Blood Pressure
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Nsaids And High Blood Pressure
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen cause sodium and fluid retention, which can also increase blood pressure. And, taken for long periods of time, this type of medication increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, DePalma says.
If decongestants or cold medications containing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories are needed, they should be taken at the lowest needed dose and for the shortest period of time possible, DePalma says.
NSAIDs can also interfere with the effectiveness of certain high blood pressure medications such as diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers, Dr. Huot adds.
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Shopping Smart For The Heart
The next time youre staring down the long shelves of the cough and cold aisle, look past the list of symptoms in bold letters and make sure you consider the active ingredients in the smaller print.
If you suffer from hypertension, your heart will thank you.
And dont forget, theres more to decongesting than taking medication: drink more liquids, try using a humidifier, consider rinsing your sinuses with a saline solution and get lots of rest.
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What Can You Do Without Taking Cold And Flu Medicines
For your fever, take acetaminophen. Medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease.
For your congestion, try a humidifier. Moist, warm or cool air can help break up the mucous and ease your swollen nasal passages.
Get plenty of rest so your bodys immune system can fight the virus. Drink plenty of fluid.
With or without a decongestant or antihistamine your cold or flu is likely to last about 5-7days.
Wash your hands, especially after being out in public. When you are in public or havent washed your hands recently, avoid touching your face . And finally, please get your flu shot each year!
For more information about managing a cold or the flu with high blood pressure, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.
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Alternative Decongestants For Patients With High Blood Pressure
Its allergy season and you cant breathe the fresh air because your nose is congested and stuffed. You visit the pharmacy and purchase a box of Sudafed. Your pharmacist asks if you have a history of high blood pressure, and you answer yes. The pharmacist replies that she does not recommend Sudafed for you, but why?
More Tips For Avoiding Medication Problems
Be sure any medications you choose to use are safe for people who have high blood pressure. These suggestions can help:
- Give a list of ALL the medications you use, both prescription and over-the-counter, to every doctor you visit, including dosages.
- Read medication labels before buying over-the-counter preparations. Make sure the medicine doesn’t contain ingredients that could make your high blood pressure worse, such as NSAIDs or decongestants.
- Talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication, herbal preparation, vitamins, or other nutritional supplements. Ask for alternatives to potentially harmful medicines.
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Weight Loss Drugs Can Also Raise Blood Pressure
Some weight loss drugs may make heart disease worse. Appetite suppressants tend to “rev” up the body, increasing both the heart rate and the blood pressure. When the blood pressure rises, it can put more stress on your heart.
Before using any weight loss drug, whether prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to check with your doctor. These medications may do you more harm than good.
Migraine Headache Drugs And Blood Pressure
Some migraine headache drugs work by tightening blood vessels in your head. This relieves migraine pain. However, the medication also constricts blood vessels throughout your body. This can make blood pressure rise, perhaps to dangerous levels.
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How Does Medications Reduce Blood Pressure
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Side Effects Of Sinus Medication
Because of sinus medicine high blood pressure can likely increase drastically as these medicines may affect the functionality of your stress hormone. Moreover, sinus drugs have a tendency to make your kidneys work slower than normal.
This causes the slow down of your blood filtering and as a result more pressure is built-up in your blood vessels.
Research states that two of the main active ingredients present in the most common sinus drugs have proven to increase your blood pressure.
If you have hypertension it is recommended that you not take any sinus medication for more than ten days.
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Can High Blood Pressure Make You Have Chills And Make You Cold
Though chills and heightened sensitivity to cold are not typical symptoms of hypertension, high blood pressure has many effects on the body, and it can even be completely asymptomatic. According to WebMD, hypertension and chills are both associated with 19 conditions, so they are sometimes found in the same patient.
WebMD gives a list of conditions that can cause both high blood pressure and either chills or increased sensitivity to the external temperature. They range from endocrine disorders affecting the thyroid and pituitary glands to adverse drug interactions. The general nature of these three symptoms makes them likely to be found together across a range of conditions.
One reason hypertension can sometimes be found co-occurring with chills and cold sensitivity is that some medications intended to control a patient’s blood pressure can induce chills and sensitivity to the temperature as side effects. According to About.com, ACE inhibitors are a class of hypertension drugs that work by gradually dilating small blood vessels called arterioles. This action is accomplished by blocking the functioning of a certain protein in the body that causes blood vessels to contract. The drugs in this group sometimes cause fever and chills, as well as headache, dry cough and an upset stomach.
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Taking Medicine For A Cold Be Mindful Of Your Heart
Flu has so far infected more than 6 million Americans this season, and winter colds are making their rounds. If you’ve been hit by either, you may be thinking about heading to your local pharmacy to relieve your aches, pains and congestion.
But before you do, you need to consider how some over-the-counter cold medicines may impact your heart.
“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants,” said Sondra DePalma, a physician assistant at the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute at UPMC Pinnacle in Pennsylvania. “And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider.”
DePalma co-authored guidelines released in 2017 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology focusing on the management of high blood pressure in adults. Both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories , found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.
“But if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, the last thing you need is constricting blood vessels,” she said. “It can exacerbate or worsen the condition.”
The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said.
But research on NSAIDs suggests seemingly healthy people might also be at risk.
This may be due to the compound effect.
Cold Medications That Do Not Affect Blood Pressure
Strong over-the-counter cold medications help people make it through the cold and flu season, but some drugs can raise blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension or heart disease should choose medicines by the cold symptoms that they treat. Sneezing, coughing and runny noses can safely be treated.
Drugs for nasal congestion, however, pose dangers. Purchasing combination cold formulas requires special attention to ingredients. Heart patients should use home remedies for stuffy nose symptoms and choose cold formulas that dont contain decongestants.
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High Blood Pressure And Cold Remedies: Which Are Safe
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 6, 2021.
Over-the-counter cold remedies aren’t off-limits if you have high blood pressure or take medication for high blood pressure, but it’s important to make careful choices. Talk to your doctor before taking any OTC medications or supplements.
Among over-the-counter cold remedies, decongestants cause the most concern for people who have high blood pressure. Decongestants relieve nasal stuffiness by narrowing blood vessels and reducing swelling in the nose. This narrowing can affect other blood vessels as well, which can increase blood pressure.
To keep your blood pressure in check, avoid over-the-counter decongestants and multisymptom cold remedies that contain decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylephrine, naphazoline and oxymetazoline. Also, check the label for high sodium content, which can also raise blood pressure.
American Heart Association News Stories
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HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.
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Managing A Cold With Hypertension
If you cant take a decongestant because of high blood pressure, there are other ways to reduce your cold or allergy symptoms:
Take Coricidin HBP, which is free of decongestants
Drink plenty of fluids including water, juice, tea and soup to prevent dehydration and clear mucus from your lungs
Take a pain reliever such as Tylenol or Motrin for fever, sore throat, body aches and headache
Flush your sinuses with a saline spray to relieve nasal congestion
Soothe a sore or scratchy throat with lozenges
Use a vaporizer or humidifier if necessary to boost humidity
Get plenty of rest
Return to your doctor after five to seven days to make sure youre on the road to recovery