Medicine cabinet makeover tips for people with high blood pressure
(BPT) - If you’re among the 68 million Americans who have high blood pressure, you may feel that taking your medicine, getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet means you’re doing everything you can to manage your condition. But with cold season in full swing and many areas of the country recording record numbers of flu cases, it might be time for a medicine cabinet makeover as well – a total renovation in which you toss out any over-the-counter (OTC) medications that contain decongestants.
That’s because the same ingredients in decongestants that help relieve the nasal swelling associated with congestion also affect other blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure and heart rate to rise – a potentially dangerous situation for those with high blood pressure. Unfortunately, just 10 percent of those with high blood pressure are aware they should avoid decongestants, and nearly half don’t know they should take a special OTC medicine when they have a cold or the flu, according to a survey by St. Joseph, makers of over-the-counter medications.
“The number of hypertensive people who don’t know to avoid decongestants is shocking,” says Bernie Kropfelder of St. Joseph Health Products, LLC. “Each year, 5 to 20 percent of Americans will catch the flu, so it’s important for people with high blood pressure to talk to their doctors or pharmacists about which OTC medicines to avoid.”
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