Dos And Don'ts For Managing High Blood Pressure During Cold And Flu Season
North American Precis Syndicate
People with high blood pressure should consult a doctor before taking any cold medicine. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Colds and flu bring special considerations for people with
high blood pressure, especially those on blood pressure medication. Here’s
how to keep your blood pressure stable:
DO: Keep track of medication.
The American Heart Association’s online tools at www.heart.org/hbp include a downloadable
chart to manage medications and a tracker that lets people set up text
message reminders, text in their readings, track their blood pressure and
connect with providers.
DON’T: Miss your flu
shot. People who get a flu shot may reduce their risk of heart attack or
stroke. Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands regularly.
DO: Read labels on
over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu medicines. Look for warnings to those
with high blood pressure and who take blood pressure medications. Some
ingredients in cold and flu medicines can affect blood pressure.
Decongestants, used for a stuffy nose or congestion, and some pain relievers,
such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are known to raise blood
• naproxen sodium
Check with your doctor before taking these medicines. A decongestant
should be used for only the shortest amount of time possible-and never by
someone with severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
DON’T: Try to replace
your prescriptions with supplements. There are no special pills, vitamins or
drinks that can substitute for prescription medications and lifestyle
modifications. Talk to your health care provider before taking any
over-the-counter drug or supplement that claims to lower blood pressure. “Your
doctor and other health care providers should know which over-the-counter
medicines or supplements you are taking,” said Willie E. Lawrence,
M.D., chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. “If
something claims to be ‘natural’ or you don’t need a
prescription, it’s not necessarily benign. It’s still a substance
that has an effect on your body.”
DO: Work with your health care
practitioner. “If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to
know that some medicines, even supplements, will affect you differently,”
Dr. Lawrence adds. “If you’re struggling to keep your pressure
controlled, review your routines—including over-the-counter medicines
and supplements—and talk with your doctor about changes you can make.
You should never be too busy to manage your blood pressure.”
Learn more at www.heart.org/hbp.
• Coricidin HBP, product of
Bayer Consumer Health, is a sponsor of the AHA Hypertension Web content area.
“The American Heart
Association’s online tools at www.heart.org/hbp include a downloadable
chart to manage medications and a tracker that lets you set up text message
reminders, text in readings, track blood pressure and connect with providers.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)