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What allergy or cold medications should I avoid if I have high blood pressure?

ANSWER

Don't take decongestants unless your doctor tells you otherwise. They may raise your blood pressure. They also keep some high blood pressure drugs from working the way they should.

Watch out for combination medications for allergies that include decongestant ingredients. That includes allergy drugs as well as many remedies for cold, flu, and sinus problems. Ask your pharmacist to check the ingredients for you.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Over-the-Counter Medications."

Harvard Medical School: "Don't Let Decongestants Squeeze Your Heart."

UpToDate: "Definition, risk factors, and evaluation of resistant hypertension," "Diphenhydramine."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on December 14, 2016

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Over-the-Counter Medications."

Harvard Medical School: "Don't Let Decongestants Squeeze Your Heart."

UpToDate: "Definition, risk factors, and evaluation of resistant hypertension," "Diphenhydramine."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on December 14, 2016

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