How Do Cold Medicines Affect Your Heart?
We are in a season when illnesses such as the flu and the common cold are common. Especially sudden changes in the weather make it easier to catch the flu and colds. Although the flu and the common cold are confused with each other, the viruses that actually cause the disease are different from each other and therefore the treatment approaches are also different from each other.
Since the influenza virus that causes flu is more resistant, the flu is in a more severe picture. Therefore, the patient has to go to the doctor. However, many people prefer to buy and use cold medicines from the pharmacy in the case of simple colds. However, before using these drugs, you may need to consider how do cold medicines affect your heart.
Cold Medicines Should Not Be Used Uncontrolled!
Cold remedies are medications for symptoms rather than treatment and contain decongestants and nonsteroid anti-inflammatories. They help the patient to relax by reducing complaints such as body pain, nasal congestion, and fever. These drugs are frequently used by patients due to their non-prescription and easy accessibility.
However, it should not be forgotten that these are drugs and cause various effects in the body, especially increased blood pressure. Even people who seem completely healthy are recommended to use these drugs in a controlled manner, while it is vital that people at risk are aware of the side effects of these drugs and use them consciously and under the doctor’s control. Especially those who have uncontrolled blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of a previous stroke, those who have this risk even if they have not been diagnosed, and people over the age of 65 should be very careful about using these types of drugs.
Decongestants and Non-Steroid Anti-inflammatories cause increased blood pressure.
Decongestants, which contain substances such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, are used to open the obstructions in the respiratory tract and do this with the effect of vasoconstriction (narrowing by contracting) in the blood vessels. They ensure that less fluid goes to the sinuses so that the air ducts are open.
However, for people with high blood pressure or atherosclerotic heart disease, narrowing of the blood vessels in the last thing to be desired. This can be life-threatening for people who already have narrowing of their veins due to plaques. Constrictions in the arteries also cause blood pressure to rise further.
Since non-steroid anti-inflammatories (NSAI) reduce the amount of sodium excreted in the urine, they can cause fluid retention in the body and indirectly increase blood pressure. In the case of known blood pressure or heart disease, if possible, you should avoid NSAI taken orally in tablet or sachet form and consult your doctor about what type of drugs and how you can use them.
The best thing to do against flu and colds is to avoid these diseases.
In the common cold, if the symptoms are mild, you should rest with plenty of fluids, take immune-enhancing foods, and in case of more serious symptoms, you should consult your family doctor or the nearest health facility.
The best thing to do for colds and flu is to take precautions and not get sick. Strengthening the immune system, adopting hand washing habits, regular sleep, a healthy diet, and regular exercise will help you in this regard. You can consult your infectious diseases specialist or your family doctor for the vaccines that can be applied for preventive purposes.