Warning: decongestants and high blood pressure – a bad mix

It’s that time of year when we get the sniffles and blocked noses. No problem. Just take some decongestants from the local drug store right?

Think twice about doing it if you suffer from high blood pressure. Decongestants can shoot your high blood pressure up to dangerous levels.

If you ask for decongestants at the drug store the pharmacist will (or should) ask if you suffer from high blood pressure and if you do, s/he will usually refuse to sell them to you.

The problem is, many decongestants are now available off the shelf without the need to consult a pharmacist.

Sure, there probably is a warning in fine print about the connection between hypertension and decongestants … but does everybody read the fine print? I’m guilty of skipping it and I’m sure I’m not alone.

So if you are prone to high blood pressure give decongestants (sold as Contac Non-Drowsy, Sudafed, among other names) a wide berth. There are better ways to unblock a stuffed up nose.

Like blowing it. If your sinuses are are getting clogged try Tiger Balm. Put a small amount on a handkerchief and inhale. Lovely aroma and helps open up the passages.

Or try sucking on some menthol eucalyptus sweets.

I’m sure there are other pleasant and safe ways of unblocking a stuffed up nose.  If you know of one please share the wealth and leave a comment.

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