Did you know that cold medicine can raise blood pressure? Learn how cold medicines may worsen hypertension and how to manage cold and hypertension together.
- You should be careful about taking cold medicine if you have high blood pressure. Some cold medicines can raise your blood pressure.
- Over-the-counter cold remedies such as decongestants may cause your blood pressure to rise.
- Decongestants work by relieving nasal stuffiness by narrowing blood vessels. As a result, they may also affect other blood vessels, which can increase BP.
When you can have a common cold, you may think having a few over-the-counter medicines may help you feel better. However, you may need to practice caution if you have preexisting conditions such as hypertension.
Most cold medicines, such as decongestants, work by narrowing blood vessels to relieve the nose. The active ingredients in cold medicine, such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, are vasoconstrictors.
This means they narrow the blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure. If you have high BP, you should check with your doctor before taking any cold medicine.
Always have a reliable BP measuring device at home to track your health. Keep reading to learn how cold medicine can raise your blood pressure.
How Does Cold Medicine Raise Blood Pressure?
The most common cold medicines contain decongestants, which can cause an increase in blood pressure. This is because decongestants work by narrowing the blood vessels, which can raise blood pressure.
The narrowing of the vessels in the nose due to decongestants may help reduce swelling and congestion. However, this effect may also occur in other blood vessels. This may cause an increase in blood pressure.
If you already have hypertension, monitor it with a reliable blood pressure chart. Avoid decongestants and multisymptom targeting cold medicine.
Decongestants to avoid
Check your cold medicine for these ingredients. Closely check if there’s a high sodium content in medicines that may raise your blood pressure.
Always consult a healthcare professional before taking medicines.
How To Manage Cold When You Have Hypertension
If you have hypertension, you need to be careful when managing your cold.
Pick the right medication
Some cold medications can raise your blood pressure. That’s why it’s essential to choose a cold medication designed for people with high blood pressure. There are several cold medications on the market that don’t contain decongestants.
Decongestants can raise blood pressure, so it’s best to avoid them if you have hypertension. Painkillers containing naproxen sodium may raise blood pressure, so avoiding them is better.
Also, look for cold medications that don’t contain ingredients like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A painkiller will also work to relieve sore throat, headache, and body aches.
You may take aspirin or acetaminophen. Try Coricidin HBP for the common cold, free from any decongestants. Besides, these drugs can help relieve pain and fever without raising blood pressure.
Try nasal spray
A saline nasal spray is a good alternative. The spray can help flush your sinuses. It’s also less likely to cause side effects than medicines that contain decongestants.
Make sure you soothe your throat if it feels scratchy. Gargle with some salt water and drink warm water until you feel better. Try menthol and ginger lozenges.
Ride it out
It turns out that sometimes it might be better just to ride out a cold rather than taking any additional, unnecessary harm by taking drugs that impact your blood pressure and heart health.
That’s because colds are self-limited, meaning they will eventually go away. And while over-the-counter, (OTC) medications can help relieve some of the symptoms associated with a cold. They don’t actually speed up the recovery process.
In fact, OTC drugs can sometimes do more harm. For example, decongestants can raise blood pressure and heart rate, while antihistamines can cause drowsiness and dry out your mucous membranes.
This may make you more susceptible to bacterial infections. So next time you’re feeling under the weather, save yourself the trip to the pharmacy and just ride it out – your body will thank you for it!
Natural remedies for cold
There are many different natural remedies for colds that you can try at home. Some of the most effective home remedies include drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and using a humidifier.
Drinking fluids is vital because it helps to thin mucus and prevent dehydration. Water, herbal tea, and chicken soup are the best fluids to drink when you have a cold.
Rest is also crucial when trying to recover from a cold. You may also take blood pressure-reducing supplements to support your health.
Sleeping helps your body to heal and gives your immune system a chance to fight off the infection. Using a humidifier can also be helpful as it can help to moisturise the air and reduce congestion.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which may dehydrate your body. Another popular home remedy for colds is honey. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve sore throat and ease coughing.
Add honey to hot tea or take it with a spoonful. You can also use honey to make homemade cough syrup by mixing it with lemon juice and warm water.
Cold weather can aggravate cold symptoms, so it’s important to dress warmly when you go outside. Meanwhile, note down blood pressure readings to see if it’s in control or if you further need medical attention.
You should be careful about taking cold medicine if you have high blood pressure. Some of the ingredients in cold medicine can raise blood pressure. These include pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylephrine.
Call your doctor if you take cold medicine and your blood pressure goes up. Ideally, avoid taking over-the-counter cold medicines as they may do more harm than good.
Learn how to check your blood pressure at home to get an accurate reading. Try herbal remedies and eat healthy food that builds immunity and relieves cold symptoms.
American Heart Association News. “Taking medicine for a cold? Be mindful of your heart.” January 18, 2019. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/18/taking-medicine-for-a-cold-be-mindful-of-your-heart
Passow, Mary C. RN, BSN. “Why High Blood Pressure and Cold Meds Don’t Mix” May 13, 2019, 1:00 PM. https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/heart-health/why-high-blood-pressure-and-cold-meds-dont-mix