What kind of allergy medicine should i take with high blood pressure
Oklahoma Heart Institute Director of Interventional Laboratories, Dr.
Wayne Leimbach, shares insights on allergies, heart disease and high blood pressure on our blog today.
Springtime brings not only beautiful weather and beautiful flowers, but it also brings high pollen counts and suffering to people with allergies. Numerous people often enquire what allergy medicines can I safely take if I own heart disease or high blood pressure. Numerous allergy medications include decongestants that can lift blood pressure, create palpitations and interfere with some other heart medications.
Medications that often can be safely used by people with significant allergies include nasal corticosteroids.
In addition, antihistamines are extremely effective. The antihistamines include fexofenadine (Allegra), cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
Often manufactures will include a decongestant with the antihistamines in order to provide additional control of the runny nose often seen with allergies. Manufacturers will often indicate which of the antihistamines also contain a decongestant by adding the letter D to the name of the medicine.
These decongestants can be phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine or oxymetazoline.
For patients who own high blood pressure, rhythm problems (palpitations), or who own severe blockages in their blood vessels to their heart, these decongestants own the potential to cause problems. Decongestants can lift blood pressure or stimulate quick heart rhythms. Anyone with heart conditions or high blood pressure, before taking medications that include phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, should consult their doctor to see if they can safely take such medicines.
Therefore, advertised medicines such as Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin should be safe for most patients with heart disease and allergies; however, Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D could cause problems for patients with allergies and heart disease.
Path to improved well being
When your body is exposed to allergens (allergy triggers), it makes histamines. Your body releases these chemicals to attack the allergen. Unfortunately, histamines cause the itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes associated with allergies. Antihistamines treat these symptoms.
Second-generation OTC antihistamines
These are newer medicines. Numerous treat allergy symptoms without causing sleepiness. Common kinds include:
- Loratadine (brand names include Alavert, Claritin)
- Cetirizine (brand names include Zyrtec)
- Fexofenadine (brand names include Allegra)
Note: Some antihistamines are mixed with other medicines.
These could include pain relievers or decongestants. Numerous of the brand names above are for these combination medicines. These are meant to treat numerous symptoms at the same time. It is a excellent thought to treat just the symptoms that you own. If you own only a runny nose, don’t select a medicine that also treats headache and fever.
How can I safely store OTC antihistamines?
Store every medicines out of reach and sight of young children. Store in a cool, dry put so they do not lose effectiveness.
Do not store them in bathrooms. These areas can get boiling and humid.
Cold medicines are not off-limits if you own heart disease, but patients with high blood pressure, or hypertension, should check the label carefully when choosing a freezing or allergy medicine.
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That’s because decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylephrine, naphazoline and oxymetazoline can increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
Make certain the freezing or allergy medication you plan to take is free of those ingredients.
Decongestants can also prevent your blood pressure medication from working properly. And always check the athletic and inactive ingredient lists, because numerous medications are high in sodium, which also raises blood pressure.
For allergy sufferers with heart disease, medicines such as Allegra, Zyrtec or Claritin should be safe.
However, medicines containing decongestants — including Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D and Claritin-D — could increase your blood pressure and heart rate or interfere with your heart medication.
How do I safely take OTC antihistamines?
Read the directions on the label before taking any medicine. Study how much to take and how often you should take it. If you own any questions about how much medicine to take, call your family doctor or pharmacist. Hold track of which OTC medicines you are using and when you take them.
If you need to go to the doctor, take the list with you.
Follow these tips to make certain you are taking the correct quantity of medicine:
- Take only the quantity recommended on the medicine’s label. Don’t assume that more medicine will work better or quicker. Taking more than the recommended quantity can be dangerous.
- Mixing medicines can be dangerous. If you take a prescription medicine, enquire your doctor if it’s okay to also take an OTC antihistamine.
- Don’t use more than 1 OTC antihistamine at a time unless your doctor says it’s okay.
They may own similar athletic ingredients that add up to be too much medicine.
Managing a freezing with hypertension
If you can’t take a decongestant because of high blood pressure, there are other ways to reduce your freezing or allergy symptoms:
Drink plenty of fluids — including water, juice, tea and soup — to prevent dehydration and clear mucus from your lungs
Soothe a sore or scratchy throat with lozenges
Flush your sinuses with a saline spray to relieve nasal congestion
Use a vaporizer or humidifier if necessary to boost humidity
Get plenty of rest
Take a pain reliever such as Tylenol or Motrin for fever, sore throat, body aches and headache
Take Coricidin HBP, which is free of decongestants
Return to your doctor after five to seven days to make sure you’re on the road to recovery
First-generation OTC antihistamines
These were among the first antihistamines scientists developed.
They are cheaper and widely available. They work in the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting. This means they can prevent motion sickness too. The most common side effects of first-generation antihistamines is feeling sleepy.
For this reason, they are sometimes used to assist people who own trouble sleeping (insomnia).
Some common kinds you can purchase over the counter include:
- Brompheniramine (brand names include Children’s Dimetapp Cold)
- Dimenhydrinate (brand names include Dramamine)
- Chlorpheniramine (brand names include Chlor-Trimeton, Actifed Cold)
- Diphenhydramine (brand names include Benadryl, Nytol, Sominex)
- Doxylamine (brand names include Vicks NyQuil, Tylenol Freezing and Cough Nighttime)
Before taking any new medication
Always check with your pharmacist before you take a new medication, whether it’s for a freezing, allergies or something else, to discover out if it is compatible with certain medical conditions and your current drug therapy.
SEE ALSO: Millions More People Now Own High Blood Pressure. Why That’s a Excellent Thing
If you own a heart condition, be certain to discuss every medication choices with your cardiologist before taking anything.
The options can be confusing.
Attempt this approach when symptoms start to develop.
Image: © PeopleImages/Getty Images
If you’re struggling with allergy symptoms, you may assume you can resolve them with an over-the-counter (OTC) remedy. And that may be true. Numerous pharmaceutical-grade allergy drugs once available only by prescription are now as simple to purchase as aspirin. But that development forces you to become a doctor in the drugstore aisle as you attempt to figure out which product is correct for you. «People often make the incorrect decision about which medication to take and they wind up being undertreated.
They attempt a stir of medications, but don’t get relief,» says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Strategies to fight back
There are two primary ways that OTC drugs assist you manage allergies. One is by blocking the effects of histamine when alarm bells sound. To do this, you can use a medication called an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin).
Another way, says Dr.
Sedaghat, is by suppressing the immune system response before it even releases histamine. This is done with corticosteroid nasal sprays. OTC versions include budesonide (Rhinocort), fluticasone propionate (Flonase), and triamcinolone (Nasacort). Sometimes a combination of an antihistamine and a corticosteroid nasal spray is the most effective treatment.
If you’re experiencing what seems love your first reaction to an allergen from pollen, grasses, or weeds — maybe from a particularly potent pollen season — or if you’re experiencing an isolated reaction to a day of yard work, Dr.
Sedaghat recommends trying an antihistamine for quick relief.
But be careful: first-generation OTC antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) and diphenhydramine can cause drowsiness and confusion in some people, which can also lead to falls. Instead, Dr. Sedaghat suggests taking a second-generation OTC antihistamine that’s less likely to cause drowsiness, such as fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine, or cetirizine (Zyrtec). Compared with first-generation antihistamines, the second-generation ones are no more potent, but they are more expensive.
Antihistamine eye drops, such as ketotifen (Zaditor), available over the counter, can be used for watery eyes.
What causes allergies?
Before choosing a medication, it helps to understand what’s causing your allergies.
Often it’s a matter of inhaling a harmless substance, such as pollen or another allergen, which the immune system mistakenly perceives as a dangerous invader.
The immune system then «releases the hounds» and generates substances designed to fight the assumed invader. One of these substances is histamine, which stimulates nerves in the nose to trigger sneezing. Histamine also causes the nasal passages to fill with fluid and cells that can fight invaders.
The result: inflamed mucous membranes and the production of mucus (lots of it). This condition, called allergic rhinitis, is marked by a stuffy or runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and sometimes a sore throat.
If an antihistamine isn’t resolving your symptoms, or if you know you’ll own an allergic reaction in a specific season (tree pollens are bothersome in the spring, grasses can be a problem in early summer, and ragweed is an offender in tardy summer and fall), you may desire to up your game by using a corticosteroid nasal spray.
«Head to head, the corticosteroid nasal sprays work better than the oral antihistamines for congestion and stuffy nose,» Dr. Sedaghat says.
The downside is that these sprays take time — generally at least two to four weeks — for their full effect. That can be tough when you’re coping with symptoms. If you anticipate seasonal allergy symptoms, you’ll need to start using the corticosteroid nasal spray before symptoms typically begin.
But nasal corticosteroids also own side effects: they can cause bloody noses; they can worsen glaucoma; and in rare cases they can cause a hole in the septum, the wall that separates the correct and left side of the nose.
What about decongestants?
Over-the-counter decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine, Sudafed PE), narrow the blood vessels, which can assist reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and provide relief.
But older adults can be more sensitive to the effects of these medications, so it’s significant to check with your doctor before using them.
What’s the problem? For one, decongestants can increase your blood pressure. Decongestants are also stimulants, which can increase your heart rate or cause anxiety or insomnia. The drugs aren’t recommended for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or angina.
Using over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays for more than two or three days can backfire, leading to greater swelling than you experienced initially.
When to see a doctor
Sedaghat recommends trying out OTC remedies to treat allergy symptoms for a month. If you’re still having symptoms, or if you’re concerned about side effects, it may be time to consult your primary care physician; an allergist; or an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
«All of these medications can be tweaked in terms of how much you take and how often,» Dr. Sedaghat says. But remember, it takes an expert to know how much and which helpful of drug will be safe for your specific health condition and how it will interact with your other medications.
Another option: moving to prescription allergy drugs.
Prescription antihistamine sprays, such as azelastine (Astelin) and olopatadine (Patanase), may assist prevent the symptoms of sneezing and a runny nose while minimizing drowsiness.
Doctors can also add another type of prescription medication to your regimen, called a leukotriene inhibitor. These drugs — such as montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate), and zileuton (Zyflo) — block inflammatory chemicals called leukotrienes.