Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D'Arcy Norman
Being diagnosed with high blood pressure is something that an individual should not play around with or take lightly. There are a lot of things that a person with high blood pressure should not ingest; one of them being sodium and the other is that of decongestants, which are found in many over-the-counter cold medications. Just as sodium can make the blood pressure rise, ingredients found in cold medications can have the same harmful affect.
High Blood Pressure and the Common Cold
There are no cold remedies that are considered to be a cure for the common cold of sniffles and body aches. All cold medicines are just a temporary fix for the symptoms while the cold runs its course. However, a person with high blood pressure doesn't necessarily have to suffer the cold season just because they have hypertension. There are so many do's and don'ts when you have hypertension; but you too can get temporary relief without compromising your health with cold medications that will not put you in harms way.
Be Careful of Over-the-Counter Medications
People with high blood pressure not only have to watch what they eat; they also have to be careful of taking over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicines. Cold medicines, such as Robitussin, Tylenol Cold, Sudafed and Alka-Seltzer Plus to name a few, can have an adverse affect on someone who has high blood pressure. The culprits in cold medicines are the decongestant ingredients that can cause the blood pressure to rise.
Staying Away from Decongestants
When cold and flu season come around, a person with high blood pressure issues must make sure that they stay away from decongestant ingredients ,such as Naphazoline, Phenylephrine and Propylhexedrine, when they want to get rid of the sniffles and a cough. A person with high blood pressure should always read labels, not only for the decongestants found in cold medicines, because over-the-counter cold medicines contains another hazardous ingredient, high levels of sodium.
Safe Cold Medicines
Looking at all the over-the-counter cold medicines sitting on a pharmacy shelf can be quite mind boggling as you try to find something that is safe and decongestant free. However, according to the American Heart Association, the only over-the-counter cold medications that are safe for people with hypertension are Coricidin HBP, Chlo-Trimeton, Benadryl, and Tavis-1. These medications do not contain decongestants. They will not cause your blood pressure to rise.
Though there are many cold medications to choose from, for the person with high blood pressure, the choices are few. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you must be selective with the products your purchase. Read all labels to make sure you aren't getting harmful ingredients. Consult your physician about what you can take, how much and how often. For if by chance you happen to pick up something that contains decongestants, be aware that your blood pressure will be in a compromise with each dose of medicine that you take. You might be stifling the cold symptoms, but at the same time, making your pressure rise, which may be worse than coping with a few sniffles.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D'Arcy Norman