High blood pressure: The common over-the-counter drug significantly increasing your risk


High blood pressure occurs when the force pushing against the arterial walls reaches a certain threshold. As this pressure grows, so does the risk of deadly ailments. Fortunately, there are a number of tools at our disposal that can help manage blood pressure. Abbas Kanani, a pharmacist at Chemist Click, explains that some drugs aimed at easing flu-like symptoms could increase your risk of the silent killer.

As the cold intensifies, thousands of Britons turn to products to ease congestion, aches, and other flu-like symptoms.

Much of the medication aimed at easing colds, allergy, sinusitis which can often be found combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

One of the main ingredients found in these pills is decongestants.

The NHS explains: “Decongestants are a type of medicine that can provide short-term relief for a blocked or study nose (nasal congestion).

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“They can help ease the symptoms of conditions such as cold and flu, hay fever and other allergic reactions, catarrh and sinusitis.”

When someone has a cold, their nose often becomes congested because the body sends extra blood to this area.

This causes blood vessels and neighbouring tissue to swell.

Decongestants are added to drugs to target congestion by reversing this process inside the blood vessels.


But the drugs target the vessels in the entire body, not just those in the nose.

Mr Kanini explained: “[Decongestants] relieve stuffiness and nasal congestion but can cause an increase in blood pressure.

“Decongestants contained in over the counter products used for cold and flu include pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, xylometazoline and oxymetazoline.

“These ingredients reduce inflammation in the nasal passage and provide relief by narrowing the blood vessels.


“You will find these ingredients in most over-the-counter products for cold and flu.”

Physicians also recommend staying alert to products that contain multiple drugs to treat numerous ailments like fever, cough or sore throat.

By causing the vessels throughout the body to constrict, these drugs could be particularly harmful to individuals with hypertension.

Harvard Health adds: “Decongestants are also stimulants, which can increase your heart rates or cause anxiety or insomnia.”

Published at Sun, 12 Dec 2021 09:00:00 +0000

High blood pressure: The common over-the-counter drug significantly increasing your risk


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