If on BP pills, take care with cold meds

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Arts - Mayo Clinic News Net­work

Over-the-counter cold reme­dies aren’t off-lim­its if you have high blood pres­sure, but it’s im­por­tant to make care­ful choices.

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.

In­stead, con­sider fol­low­ing th­ese rec­om­men­da­tions:

Choose a cold med­i­ca­tion A de­signed for peo­ple who have high blood pres­sure. Some cold med­i­ca­tions don’t con­tain de­con­ges­tants. How­ever, th­ese med­i­ca­tions may con­tain other pow­er­ful drugs, such as dex­tromethor­phan, that can be dan­ger­ous if you take too much. Fol­low the dos­ing in­struc­tions care­fully.

Take a pain re­liever.


To re­lieve a fever, sore throat or headache or body aches, try as­pirin or ac­etaminophe­n.

Use saline nasal spray. A

To re­lieve nasal con­ges­tion, try saline nasal spray. The spray can help flush your si­nuses.

Soothe your throat. To A re­lieve a sore or scratchy throat, gar­gle with warm salt wa­ter or drink warm wa­ter with le­mon juice and honey.

Drink plenty of flu­ids. A

Wa­ter, juice, tea and soup can help clear your lungs of phlegm and mu­cus.

In­crease the hu­mid­ity A in your home. Use a coolmist hu­mid­i­fier or va­por­izer to moisten the air, which may ease con­ges­tion and cough­ing.

Get plenty of rest. If

A you’re not feel­ing well, take it easy.

Call your health care

A provider if your signs and symp­toms get worse in­stead of bet­ter or last more than 10 days.


Be care­ful with what you take for a cold.

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