It's allergy season! What that might mean for you

From Springtime on into the summer months, millions of people struggle with allergies related to pollen and other environmental factors. Because they are so widely available, the common perception of over-the-counter allergy medications is that they are safe.

This Isn’t Necessarily A Given.

Allergy drugs, both prescription and commercial, can effectively reduce the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies. This is a big plus. On the other hand, allergy medications could interact with certain drugs prescribed for the heart and blood pressure or with an existing heart condition. For example, allergy medications with pseudoephedrine may increase blood pressure or heart rate, which could agitate some cardiac conditions. For this reason, any person who is considering an over-the-counter allergy medicine is encouraged to speak with the on-site pharmacist or their physician for recommendations based on other medications they may be taking or on their general heart health.

Are All Allergy Meds Potentially Bad For Your Heart?

Allergy drugs generally fit into one of three classes:

Antihistamines are generally viewed as safe, even for people with heart disease or high blood pressure. However, the FDA does state that antihistamines could elevate heart rate and blood pressure temporarily. Additionally, some antihistamine drugs also contain decongestant ingredients. This is typically notated with a “D” after the medication name. Some experts warn that people with high blood pressure or other cardiac problems should avoid decongestants altogether due to this elevation and its potential to create disturbance in heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation. The reason why decongestants do this is that they constrict the blood vessels.

Anti-inflammatory allergy medications like intranasal sprays are generally safe for all people provided that usage instructions are followed. Overuse of an intranasal spray could affect the efficacy of blood pressure medications and may also lead to water and salt retention.

Staying Heart-Healthy Through The Allergy Season

It is possible for people taking heart medications or managing a heart or blood pressure situation to make it through allergy season. Prescription allergy medications have been developed for use alongside heart medications. Your primary care doctor or cardiologist can assist you in finding the right allergy medication for your needs. Even after consulting with your doctor, it is beneficial to also speak with the pharmacist who fills all of your prescriptions to confirm that there is no risk of drug interactions.

Premier Cardiology Consultants proudly serves the areas of Lake Success, Forest Hills, and Richmond Hill, NY. To schedule a consultation with us, call 516-437-5600.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect During Holter Monitoring

Does your heart feel like it’s beating too fast? Feeling dizzy on and off? Having more palpitations than usual? You might need a Holter monitoring test. Find out what that is and what it reveals about your heart.

Are Heart Problems Genetic?

Genes do play a role in many heart problems. However, if you’re paying attention, your family history can serve as an early warning system for preventing severe illness. Check out the facts about how DNA affects heart health.

What is Atrial Flutter?

Atrial flutter is related to a short circuit in your heart’s electrical system that causes your heart to beat too quickly. Learn more about this potentially dangerous disorder that increases your stroke and heart failure risk.

The Best Heart-Healthy Foods

Your diet plays a significant role in preventing heart disease, but a heart-healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid tasty foods. Our specialty team provides tips on developing menus that please your taste buds as well as your heart.

What You Should Know About Defibrillators

Defibrillators are common in hospital emergency rooms and ambulances. Many workplaces and community gathering sites also have a portable version in their first aid kit. Find out what these life-saving medical devices can and can’t do.