Individuals who have both high blood pressure and allergies must take care in choosing allergy medication. Blood pressure medication will not prevent any threats to blood pressure posed by an allergy medication. While many allergy medicines do not affect a person's blood pressure, there are some that can, and are especially dangerous for those who have a history of high blood pressure. One must be cautious, as several of these medicines are available over the counter. Generally, types of antihistamines and corticosteroids are the best allergy medicines to take for high blood pressure.
Medicines to Take
Antihistamines and corticosteroids are generally safe for people with high blood pressure. However, be sure to check with a doctor before taking any medications, even those that are over-the-counter.
Antihistamines help to prevent allergy symptoms by blocking the chemical release of histamine. They come in the form of eyedrops, nasal sprays and pills. Examples of eyedrops include Alaway, Visine-A and Zaditor, and can be purchased from a drug store. Prescription eyedrops include Patanol, Albalon and Emadine. Prescription nasal sprays include Astepro, Astelin, and Patanase.
There are several antihistamine pills. Those that can be purchased from a drug store include Benadryl, Claritin, Tavist and Zyrtec. The most common prescription antihistamine is Allegra.
Corticosteroids prevent allergic reactions by treating the inflammation that causes them. The majority of corticosteroids are only available by prescription, and come in the form of pills (Intensol and Prelone); eyedrops (Maxidex and Pred Forte); and nasal sprays (Beconase AQ, Flonase, Nasacort, Nasonex, and Rhinocort). (Reference 2: Corticosteroids).
Medicines to Avoid
People with high blood pressure must not take any allergy medications containing a decongestant. According to Familydoctor.org, decongestants raise blood pressure. Many decongestants are available over the counter and through prescriptions. They can be found in a variety of nose drops, nose sprays, and pills. Decongestants are meant to help relieve stuffy noses, but are not meant to be taken on a long-term basis, unless prescribed by a doctor. Taking blood pressure medication will not ward of the negative effects of a decongestant.
When purchasing an allergy medication, be sure that the label does not say it contains a decongestant. This can be confusing if there is a drug available in a non-decongestant formula, as well as one that does contain a decongestant. For example, Claritin is safe for patients with high blood pressure to take, because it contains an antihistamine, and does not affect blood pressure. Claritin-D, on the other hand, is dangerous for high blood pressure, because it contains a decongestant called pseudoephedrine.