Allergies Treatments

What OTC allergy medicines are safe for me if I have high blood pressure?

A Answers (1)

  • AAnthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Yes, there are non-prescription drugs that can be used safely if you have high blood pressure.

    A common problem with these drugs is that they may contain more than one medication. It is important to look at the ingredients to see what is included in each product.

    Many people find relief of allergy symptoms by taking antihistamines. These include:
    • diphenhydramine
    • chlorpheniramine
    • hydroxyzine
    They can cause drowsiness, so be careful if driving or at work. Newer antihistamines like loratadine and certirizine cause less drowsiness.

    Decongestants are also available without a prescription. The most common decongestants are:
    • pseudoephedrine
    • phenylephrine
    You should avoid these if you have high blood pressure, especially if your blood pressure has been difficult to control.

    If you have high blood pressure, check the ingredients of all over-the-counter allergy products to be sure they do not contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
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