WellSpan Home

High Blood Pressure: Over-the-Counter Medicines to Avoid

Topic Overview

Which over-the-counter medicines can affect blood pressure?

Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can raise your blood pressure or keep your blood pressure medicine from working the way it should. So if you have high blood pressure or other heart or blood vessel problems, you need to be careful with OTC medicines. That includes vitamins and supplements. Your doctor or pharmacist can suggest OTC medicines that are safe for you.

Some common types of OTC medicines you may need to avoid include:

  • Decongestants, such as those that contain pseudoephedrine.
  • Pain medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Cold and flu medicines. These often contain decongestants and NSAIDs.
  • Some antacids and other stomach medicines. Many of these are high in sodium, which can raise blood pressure. So be sure to read labels carefully to check for sodium content.
  • Some herbal remedies and dietary supplements. Examples are ephedra, ma huang, and bitter orange.

How can you know if it's safe to take an over-the-counter medicine?

Always talk with your pharmacist or doctor before you take any new OTC medicine or supplement. He or she can:

  • Check to make sure that the medicine won't interact with your blood pressure medicine.
  • Suggest OTC medicines that won't affect your blood pressure.

It's also important to make a list of all the medicines you take. Bring it to each appointment, and ask your doctor to review it. Be sure to include all your prescription medicines, OTC medicines, vitamins, and herbal and dietary supplements.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofDecember 6, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×