Dangers Of Allergy Meds For Your Heart
Have high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, or another heart condition? Heres what you need to know about allergy drugs.
Allergy medications might seem harmless enough theyre sold over the counter , so that makes them safe, right?
Though allergy drugs can stop the misery of seasonal bouts with pollen, hay fever, and grasses, some can aggravate a heart condition, or be downright dangerous when mixed with blood pressure drugs and certain heart medicines.
If a patient has allergies or a cold and is considering OTC medications, it is always recommended to talk with the pharmacist on site, or to ask your physician for recommendations in the context of the other medications that are prescribed, says L. Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, a cardiology professor at Duke Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.
Some OTC medications for example, those containing pseudoephedrine or similar components may cause increases in heart rate or blood pressure that could exacerbate some cardiac conditions, explains Dr. Newby.
Does Benadryl Cause Diarrhea
No, you shouldnt have diarrhea from taking Benadryl. In fact, Benadryl can cause constipation.
Some other medications used to treat allergy symptoms, such as Allegra Allergy , may cause diarrhea.
If you have diarrhea while taking Benadryl, talk with your doctor about what may be causing it.
Learn more about some of the side effects Benadryl may cause.
Are There Any Long
Yes, there are. Some long-term side effects that Benadryl may cause include:
Benadryl is recommended only as a short-term treatment for people with symptoms of allergies or other conditions that the drug treats. If you take Benadryl long term, you may develop long-term side effects of the medication.
Which side effects you experience can determine how long your side effects last. For example, if you feel sleepy, this side effect may last a few hours or until the medication is no longer in your body. But other side effects can be longer lasting.
Talk with your doctor about your Benadryl use and which other medications may be better for your condition.
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Alternative Methods For Controlling Allergies
If you continue to suffer from allergy symptoms but can’t take allergy medications because of high blood pressure or other heart problems, there are other ways you can help mitigate the sneezing, sniffling, coughing, and watery eyes that allergies can trigger.
Consider these allergy-control methods:
- Run a dehumidifier, because mold loves moisture.
- Use allergen-reducing bedding such as mattress and pillow protectors.
- Try a saline nasal spray or wash to reduce nasal congestion.
Benadryl And Other Medications
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Benadryl. This list doesnt contain all drugs that may interact with Benadryl.
Different drug interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.
If you take other medications, talk with your pharmacist before taking Benadryl. Your pharmacist can help you avoid potential interactions.
Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine, a chemical that relays messages between cells in your body. Benadryl also blocks acetylcholine. Because anticholinergic drugs and Benadryl work in the same way, taking them together can increase the risk of side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
Benadryl and Xanax
Xanax is a type of drug called a benzodiazepine, which can cause sleepiness. Taking Xanax with Benadryl can increase your risk of excessive sleepiness. This can make you too sleepy to drive or prevent you from doing other potentially dangerous activities safely.
If you take Xanax, talk with your doctor before taking Benadryl. They may recommend other treatment options.
Benadryl and Zoloft
Zoloft is an antidepressant that can cause sleepiness in some people who take it. Taking Zoloft with Benadryl may increase the risk of excessive sleepiness. This can make you too sleepy to drive or prevent you from doing other potentially dangerous activities safely.
Benadryl and Zyrtec
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Talking To Your Doctor
The good news is that antihistamines and anti-inflammatory choices are most likely safe even for people with heart conditions. However, if you are actively taking medications for high blood pressure this may not be the case. You may experience heart palpitations while taking allergy medications as well, but in healthy individuals this is usually not cause for concern. While this is general information, it is always recommended that you discuss any medication changes with your doctor even if they are minor or over the counter, because everyones situation is unique.
The good news is that you can ease your allergy symptoms by taking simple steps at home that reduce your exposure to pollen, without putting you at risk if you have high blood pressure. Keeping your car and home windows shut and leaving your shoes outside are just a couple of ways to prevent pollen from lurking in your clothes and home. While allergy medications are usually fairly safe, you never know exactly how your body will react, especially if you suffer from heart disease or a heart condition.
To discuss your cardiovascular healthcare with an experienced physician, visit the Cardiovascular Group. You schedule an appointment online at .
Common Side Effects Of Diphenhydramine
Diphenhydramine is considered an H1 receptor antagonist, and it works by blocking the effect of histamine in the body. The chemical reactions that diphenhydramine trigger in the body can cause other potentially significant sedative side effects on the central nervous system . Diphenhydramine effects are dose-dependent, and the peak effects will be achieved two to three hours after the drug is consumed. The effects, on average, last anywhere from four to six hours.
Common diphenhydramine central nervous system effects can include:
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Dont Wait For Another Sign: Talk To Your Doctor About Your Heart Disease Symptoms
If youre noticing one or more of these seven symptoms, then the best place to start is by making an appointment with a primary care doctor to have your heart checked out and tested.
Your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions. They can help you build your heart wellness by working with you to create a tailored treatment plan. And if specialist help is needed, your doctor can connect you with an expert in cardiology for more testing and treatment.
Theres no doubt that symptoms of heart disease can be concerning, especially if youre not sure whats behind them or what the next steps are. But answers, care and treatment are available to help keep your heart as healthy as it can be so you can live your best life.
What Allergy Medicines Can I Safely Take If I Have Heart Disease Or High Blood Pressure
Oklahoma Heart Institute Director of Interventional Laboratories, Dr. Wayne Leimbach, shares insights on allergies, heart disease and high blood pressure on our blog today.
Springtime brings not only beautiful weather and beautiful flowers, but it also brings high pollen counts and suffering to people with allergies. Many people often ask what allergy medicines can I safely take if I have heart disease or high blood pressure. Many allergy medications include decongestants that can raise blood pressure, create palpitations and interfere with some other heart medications.
Medications that often can be safely used by people with significant allergies include nasal corticosteroids. In addition, antihistamines are very effective. The antihistamines include fexofenadine , cetirizine , loratadine and diphenhydramine .
Often manufactures will include a decongestant with the antihistamines in order to provide additional control of the runny nose often seen with allergies. Manufacturers will often indicate which of the antihistamines also contain a decongestant by adding the letter D to the name of the medicine. These decongestants can be phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine or oxymetazoline.
Therefore, advertised medicines such as Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin should be safe for most patients with heart disease and allergies however, Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D could cause problems for patients with allergies and heart disease.
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What Else Should I Know About Diphenhydramine
What preparations of diphenhydramine are available?
- Capsules: 25 and 50 mg. Tablets: 12.5, 25 and 50 mg.
- Tablet ): 12.5 mg.
- Strips: 12.5 and 25 mg.
- Elixir, oral solution, liquid: 12.5 mg per teaspoon .
- Strip: 25 mg. Injection: 50 mg per ml.
How should I keep diphenhydramine stored?
Diphenhydramine should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C , and the injection should be protected from freezing and light.
Gerd Can Cause A Burning Feeling In The Chest
Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD, is a condition that impacts the stomach and the esophagus.
The stomach is full of acidic fluid that helps break down food contents. Sometimes the acidic fluid in the stomach refluxes, or moves back up into the esophagus. This can cause burning and irritation in the esophagus, a pain very similar to when you get a hot liquid on your skin and it burns.
The burning sensation with GERD is commonly also known as heartburn since the irritation in the esophagus can cause a burning discomfort in the chest. The term heartburn is a bit exaggerated since the heart is not actually impacted at all by GERD. However, the heart and the esophagus sit next to each other in the chest, and it can feel as though the heart is involved when it is truly just the esophagus.
In most cases, the pain from GERD is most noticeable after a meal. This is because after you eat, the stomach begins to churn and to release acids that work to break down the food you just ate. Certain treatments and medications can help reduce symptoms of GERD and provide relief.
This article discusses GERD and the sensation of heart palpitations in more detail.
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Signs You Might Notice In Yourself Include:
- Using more than the intended dose
- Using to mask unpleasant feelings
- Using more than you intended
- Needing more to achieve the same effects
- Needing the drug to feel normal
- Using despite consequences like health problems.
You may also notice signs of diphenhydramine in a friend or family member.
- Struggling at work or in school
- Loss of interest in hobbies
Which Allergy Meds Are Safe For Your Heart
There are three major classes of allergy medications:
“In general, antihistamines are safe in patients with high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease,” explains Richard Krasuski, MD, director of adult congenital heart disease services at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, but an antihistamine may elevate blood pressure or increase heart rate, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
Antihistamines for allergies include common OTC allergy drugs such as loratadine , fexofenadine , and cetirizine . However, if the drug also has a D after the name, be aware that it contains an added decongestant that can cause problems.
The combination of decongestants and blood pressure problems can be big trouble, according to the American Heart Association. Dr. Krasuski says it’s important that people with high blood pressure and other heart problems avoid decongestants, especially pseudoephedrine . “They can raise the blood pressure and increase the pulse, neither of which is ideal in either problem,” he says. “They can also increase the risk for heart rhythm disturbances such as atrial fibrillation.”
“This can reduce the antihypertensive effects of blood pressure medications and lead to loss of blood pressure control,” adds Dr. Campbell.
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Key Points About Palpitations
See your doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you or someone you care for has palpitations and any of the following symptoms:
- recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy and cannabis
- not getting enough sleep
- strenuous physical activity or exercise.
If you think lifestyle factors are causing your palpitations, you can take steps to reduce their effect on you. This may involve stopping smoking, drinking less caffeine and alcohol, avoiding recreational drugs or choosing a less intense form of exercise.
Diphenhydramine Use And Dementia
While there is no direct correlation to diphenhydramine causing dementia, there have been studies released that highlight its ability to increase the chances of developing dementia. A team led by Shelly Gray, a pharmacist at the University of Washingtons School of Pharmacy, tracked nearly 3,500 men and women age 65 and older. These individuals took part in Adult Changes in Thought , a long-term study conducted by the University of Washington and Group Health. They utilized pharmacy records to determine which drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that each participant indulged in during the past 10 years. Their health was also tracked for an average of seven years.
During this span, 800 of the volunteers developed dementia. When the research was broken down, researchers examined the use of anticholinergic drugs and found that those who used medications like diphenhydramine were at an increased risk of developing dementia than those who did not use the drugs. Taking one of these anticholinergic drugs for the equivalent of three years was associated with a 54 percent higher dementia risk than the individuals who took it for three months or less.
While diphenhydramine may seem like a harmless medication because of its easy, over-the-counter access, long-term use of any substance can prove to be fatal or have life-threatening consequences. If you or someone you know is consuming large doses of diphenhydramine, it may be a sign to seek treatment.
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How Are Palpitations Treated
The treatment of your palpitations depends on the cause. You may not need any treatment and your palpitations may go away by themselves.
If your palpitations are caused by some of the lifestyle factors above, such as alcohol, smoking or caffeine-containing drinks, you should avoid or reduce their intake. If you feel stressed or anxious, try to identify what is causing this and find ways to relax. Read these tips for managing stress.
If your palpitations are caused by a heart rhythm problem such as atrial fibrillation, you may be prescribed medicines to help prevent blood clots and bring your hearts rhythm and speed back to normal. Read more about treatment for atrial fibrillation.
Occasionally, palpitations caused by a heart problem may need more specialist tests or treatment in hospital or by referral to a cardiologist .
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Benadryl For Hives Itching And Rash
Some topical, over-the-counter Benadryl products are approved for treating hives, itchy skin, and rash. These products include:
- Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream
- Benadryl Itch Stopping Gel
- Benadryl Itch Relief Stick
Oral over-the-counter Benadryl products arent approved to treat hives, itchy skin, and rash. However, these products are sometimes used for these purposes. Theyre effective for this use, but theyre not usually a first-choice treatment because of side effects such as sleepiness.
Newer, second-generation antihistamines are usually preferred over oral Benadryl for treating these symptoms. These newer medications include:
- Benadryl Itch Relief Stick
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Zyrtec & Cardiac Side Effects
Histamine is a substance produced by the body in response to allergic reactions that triggers immune response symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Antihistamines are a class of drugs that block the action of histamine and reduce these symptoms. Older antihistamines had many side effects such as severe drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, called selective H1-receptor antagonists, do not cross into the brain and have fewer side effects. In 2007, the FDA approved Zyrtec, or cetirizine, as an over-the-counter drug to treat allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria, a skin condition characterized by recurrent hives 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Diphenhydramine is used to relieve red, irritated, itchy, watery eyes sneezing and runny nose caused by hay fever, allergies, or the common cold. Diphenhydramine is also used to relieve cough caused by minor throat or airway irritation. Diphenhydramine is also used to prevent and treat motion sickness, and to treat insomnia . Diphenhydramine is also used to control abnormal movements in people who have early stage parkinsonian syndrome or who are experiencing movement problems as a side effect of a medication.
Diphenhydramine will relieve the symptoms of these conditions but will not treat the cause of the symptoms or speed recovery. Diphenhydramine should not be used to cause sleepiness in children. Diphenhydramine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
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What Should You Do If You Have Heart Palpitations
If you begin to experience chest pains or tightness, you should seek medical attention. Heart palpitations could be a symptom of a serious heart-related condition. You shouldnt ignore them.
Learn about your family history. If you have a family member that has had any type of heart disease, this increases your risk of having a heart attack.
Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, call 911 or go to the emergency room if you feel sudden, intense heart palpitations. This is especially true if theyre accompanied by:
- shortness of breath
- Give you a physical exam
- Take down your medical history
- Want to know about your current medications, diet, and lifestyle
- Ask for specifics about when, how often, and under what circumstances your palpitations occur
Sometimes, a blood test can help your doctor find the cause of your palpitations. Other useful tests include:
Electrocardiogram: This can be done while youâre at rest or exercising. The latter is called a stress EKG. In both cases, the test records your hearts electrical signals and can find unusual heart rhythms.
Holter monitoring: Youâll wear a monitor on your chest. It continuously records your hearts electrical signals for 24 to 48 hours. It can identify rhythm differences that werent picked up during an EKG.
Event recording: Youâll wear a device on your chest and use a handheld gadget to record your hearts electrical signals when symptoms occur.
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