Having a cold episode of sneezing and coughing is certainly not an unpleasant experience. While many people in general would resort to buying over-the-counter (OTC) cold medication to help relieve symptoms related to cold, it is considered normal and harmless to most. However, this may be untrue for those with other medical issues such as problems with heart health. In this article, we will be focusing on what are the best cold medications for high blood pressure patients.
Patients with high blood pressure or hypertension need to be cautious with cold medications available in the market. This is not to say that they cannot take any cold medications, but more to really take note before buying and using any cold or flu remedies. Reasons being, many cold medications have been shown to have adverse effects on blood pressure.
Cold medications sold either in pharmacy or mart are made with active ingredients that acts as a decongestant. In short, these active ingredients work by causing the blood vessels in the nose or sinuses to constrict. Constriction reduces swelling inside the nose which enables a person to breathe better. Aside from giving reaction to the nose area, it also causes other blood vessels in the body to constrict and heart rate.
Although the blood vessel constriction may not be a major problem for most healthy people, this can be dangerous to patients with high blood pressure as it can cause the blood pressure to rise to a dangerous level. Furthermore, certain cold medications might even reduce the effectiveness of the drugs that the patients are taking to treat heart problems or hypertension itself. Thus, a person with high blood pressure needs to read the product labels and make sure the cold medications they are planning to take do not contain ingredients that may react poorly to their health condition and the antihypertensive drugs taken.
Ingredients that should be looked out for are nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and decongestants such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. Cold medications may have included these ingredients in their formulation to enhance the effectiveness of the medications.
Studies show that taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen increase risk for hypertension and stroke. Another study shows that taking NSAIDs to treat respiratory infection increases risk for a heart attack by threefold. Nasal decongestants such as the pseudoephedrine which is most common in cold remedies also give results of elevated blood pressure by 0.99 mm Hg and 2.83 beats per minute. It can be concluded that these ingredients or drugs associated with cold relief should be avoided by those with hypertension.
Patients with high blood pressure are best treated with cold medications that are created for them and specially designed for them. They can always ask a pharmacist for recommendations on which medications are suitable for them by letting them know they are having blood pressure issues and in need of specific cold medications. If a person is still feeling unsure of which cold medication to take, getting medical advice by meeting a doctor or asking opinion from their healthcare provider would be the wisest choice possible. They should always choose cold medications that match symptoms of what they are experiencing. Avoiding unnecessary medicines by carefully reading the products formula as printed on the label and products targeted for multi-symptoms. Apart from making sure cold medications are free from decongestant and NSAIDs combination, make sure to check for sodium contents especially when the product is a decongestant as this can directly cause a spike in the blood pressure. In conclusion, major cold medications do give effect to those with high blood pressure and the need to take specific one to treat cold symptoms in a safe manner is necessary.
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