The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
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. Instead:
- Choose a cold medication designed for people who have high blood pressure. Some cold medications don't contain decongestants. Avoid medications that have warnings on the label for people who have high blood pressure and those who take blood pressure medications.
- Take a pain reliever. To relieve a fever, sore throat or headache, or body aches, try aspirin or acetaminophen. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can also contribute to high blood pressure.
- Use saline nasal spray. To relieve nasal congestion, try saline nasal spray. The spray can help flush your sinuses.
- Soothe your throat. To relieve a sore or scratchy throat, gargle with warm salt water or drink warm water with lemon juice and honey. Or try menthol lozenges.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water, juice, tea and soup can help clear your lungs of phlegm and mucus.
- Increase the humidity in your home. Use a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air, which may ease congestion and coughing.
- Get plenty of rest. If you're not feeling well, take it easy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
One option would be to choose a cold medication specifically designed for those with high blood pressure. One such medication is Corticidin HBP and does not contain a decongestant. Of course, another option for nasal congestion is to use nasal sprays which do not impact blood pressure.
If you're looking for a safe cold medicine for high blood pressure, consider Coricidin. Coricidin is an over-the-counter multi-symptom product marketed specifically for patients with high blood pressure.
Decongestants provide relief by narrowing blood vessels to reduce nasal stuffiness, but this can potentially affect other blood vessels, which may increase blood pressure. DayQuil™ HBP is free of decongestants for people with high blood pressure.
One of the medications in Dayquil, phenylephrine, works to clear your sinuses and stuffy nose by tightening your blood vessels. As a side effect, this can lead to raised blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, let your provider know and discuss if Dayquil is the best option to treat your symptoms.