Hello. This is Heart Health Tuesdays! Today, we’ll talk about claritin and high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a silent killer. It sneaks up on you and can cause permanent damage before you even know you have it. You have a higher risk of developing kidney failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke without even knowing that you had a problem to begin with.
People who have high blood pressure, and even those who dont, should be asking the question can Claritin cause high blood pressure? Most people who have problems with their blood pressure have been advised by the physicians to be careful about the over the counter medications or other medications that may be prescribed for them by other doctors. This is because medications arent always safe when taken together.
Drug interactions are chemical reactions that happen in your body when you take two different types of drugs that interact with each other inside your body. This chemical reaction can cause mild side effects or serious and life threatening side effects depending upon the type of medications taken.
But the question about Claritin causing high blood pressure remains. Actually Claritin D is the culprit in the high blood pressure problem. The D in Claritin D stands for decongestant. Claritin is an antihistamine that works to decrease the histamine response in your body which causes the watery and itchy eyes, runny nose and head congestion. The decongestant was added to another formulation to help get rid of the congestion that was present with seasonal allergic reactions.
The decongestant medication is pseudoephedrine which produces a narrowing or constricting of the blood vessels. This constriction will help your nasal congestion to clear since the extra cells arent able to leave the vessels. However this constriction will also cause an increase in blood pressure.
If you already have high blood pressure then Claritin D may cause an increase that will be dangerous to your health. If you dont have high blood pressure then Claritin D could cause a slight increase in blood pressure that may or may not be dangerous. The real problem is that high blood pressure is called the silent killer because it is silent. There are no signs and symptoms, the patient never feels the increase in blood pressure.
Another issue with Claritin D is that the decongestant, pseudoephedrine, can also interfere with several blood pressure medications, making them unavailable to your body and thus increasing your blood pressure.
And so, unless you know what your recent blood pressure has been in the past 6 months you could be causing a dangerous medical situation. Thankfully most pharmacies have blood pressure machines in their stores that you can use for a small fee. It is wise to check your pressure if you havent had a physicians exam in more than a year and you have risk factors of high blood pressure such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poor nutrition, smoking, or a moderate alcohol intake.
RxList: Claritin D
MayoGuide: Claritin and High Blood Pressure
HealthTap: Can You Take Claritin with High Blood Pressure
HealthCentral: Can Claritin D Raise Your Blood Pressure Permanently
EverydayHealth: Is Loratadine Safe to Take with Blood Pressure Medicine
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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