For people with heart conditions and high blood pressure, decongestant medications should be avoided. Decongestants cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting the flow of blood through the system, which can cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. People with colds who also have heart disease and are on aspirin therapy should consider pain relievers that contain acetaminophen (Tylenol). In addition to acetaminophen, there are other over-the-counter remedies available to ease cold symptoms safely in those with heart disease.
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is used to suppress cold symptoms such as coughs, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes, but it is also effective in relieving itching, hives and rashes that are common symptoms of allergies. Benadryl is an antihistamine that blocks the naturally occurring histamine in the body.
This product is supposed to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold, including cough, sore throat, post-nasal drip, stuffy nose and hoarseness. It is recommended that Cold-EEZE be taken within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of a cold and used daily until the symptoms no longer exist. The dosage is one lozenge every two to four hours as needed, without exceeding six lozenges per day. Cold-EEZE is safe to take with other medications but should not be taken within a half hour before or after consuming products containing citric acid, like fruit juices. Citric acid interferes with the product’s effectiveness.
Zicam has been rated safe for heart patients to use for the relief of cold symptoms. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning advising people to discontinue use of three separate Zicam Products, including: 1. Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel 2. Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs 3. Zicam Kids Size Cold Remedy Swabs
After many complaints, the FDA found that the above products cause a loss of the sense of smell after the first dose and should no longer be used. Other forms of Zicam are safe to use.
Coricidin HBP/Cough and Cold
Coricidin HBP is specifically designed to relieve the symptoms of colds and allergies for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. Coricidin HBP/Cough and Cold is an antihistamine that works to block histamine and is combined with a cough suppressant that works in the brain to minimize the cough reflex.
Zinc can be found in foods like beef and other red meats, nuts, seeds, beans, shellfish, milk and cheese. Zinc is also available in nasal sprays, lozenges and in pill form. Because zinc is a mineral and is present in all cells of the body, it will not interfere with preexisting conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Zinc is most effective when taken about every two hours at the first signs of a cold.