If you have heart disease or hypertension, some over the counter medications could make your heart work harder than normal and raise your blood pressure. You must either use these medicines with caution or avoid taking them, advises an experienced pharmacist from a reputable pharmacy in Texas. These over the counter medications include the following:
- Sinus and cold medicines with phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline raise blood pressure. Because plenty of medicines for treating flu, cold, sinus, and cold symptoms have one or more of these ingredients, it’s imperative that consult your pharmacist first before taking them. Your pharmacist might recommend a more suitable alternative that would be safer for your specific circumstances.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs including naproxen and ibuprofen might be very effective in easing pain, but could raise blood pressure as well. Also, if you suffer from heart disease, they could cause fluid retention, which in turn could lead to breathing difficulties.
- Dietary supplements, herbs, and even vitamins must be used with ample caution. Before taking these, you need to consult your pharmacist or doctor first, especially if you have an underlying health issue and are taking medications for it. They would review if these products could get in the way of your prescription medications’ effectiveness or cause potential drug interactions. Among the most common supplements that have been found to increase heart rate and blood pressure include caffeine, gingko, chondroitin, ginseng, dong quai, licorice, glucosamine, goldenseal, saw palmetto, jimson weed, Yohimbe, St. John’s wort, and ephedra.
- Some Suppositories and hemorrhoid creams might have phenylephrine that could enter the bloodstream through your skin, which could then increase your blood pressure.
When in doubt, always consult your doctor or trusty pharmacist before buying and taking OTC medications. These professionals know your medical history and which drugs you’re currently taking. When consulting with them, always bring a list of all medicines, OTC and/or prescriptions. Also, if at all possible, it’s best that you fill your medications in only one pharmacy. Your pharmacist would be able to check for potential side effects and drug interactions and help you choose a safer OTC alternative for your symptoms.