Tips for Choosing Over-the-Counter Medications
When you have a heart issue, sometimes choosing over-the-counter medications can become dangerous territory. Many people discount the effects of over-the-counter medications because they are so readily available. However, many over-the-counter medications have the power to contradict or react with your existing medications that can greatly impact your health. Here are a few simple tips should follow when choosing over-the-counter medications.
Read All Labels
Before you buy an over-the-counter medication, read all labels thoroughly. They were placed for your safety and include all the information about its testing and side effects. If you have high blood pressure, it is best to ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications that warn users who have high blood pressure.
“All Natural” Does Not Mean Safe
Be cautious with homeopathic or natural medicines. Their side effects may interfere with the effectiveness of your medication or produce dangerous side effects. Speak with your doctor about any alternative options you are considering before you add it to your daily regimen.
Beware of Decongestants
If you have heart issues or high blood pressure, the use of decongestants can raise blood pressure and have negative interaction with your existing medications. Many over-the-counter flu or cold medications contain ephedrine, levmetamfetamine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, prophyhexedrine, pseudoephedrine, synephrine, or tetrahydrozoline, which all could worsen your heart condition. Your physician can guide you on over the counter medications that are safe to take with your existing prescriptions.
Watch Your Sodium
Some over-the-counter medications are high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure. When looking at your medication options, be sure to check the sodium content. Some medications have an entire day’s worth of sodium in one dose.
If you have any questions about choosing over-the-counter medications, contact Brookhaven Heart at 631-654-3278. We are happy to assist you in optimizing your heart health.