Allegra is an antihistamine that is popular for use with seasonal allergies. But what about Allegra and blood pressure? Is it safe to take both? The antihistamine works against the naturally occurring histamine response in your body when you are exposed to something your body perceives as an allergen. Allegra appears to have a good response toward preventing sneezing, runny nose, itching and watery eyes that are the hallmarks of seasonal allergies.
As with any other medication, Allegra may also be used by your physician in an off-label capacity. In other words, your doctor may determine that using this particular anti-histamine may help another condition from which you currently suffer. The use of the antihistamine Allegra and blood pressure effects can be a concern of people who already have difficulty controlling their blood pressure and suffer from hypertension.
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The real issue isn’t with Allegra but rather Allegra –D. Allegra has the medication fexofenadine, which is the antihistamine to decrease the effects of histamine in the body. However, some people also suffer from nasal congestion and want relief from that as well. In answer Aventis Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of Allegra, designed a medication that also contained a decongestant. That decongestant is pseudoephedrine.
The pseudoephedrine works by restricting blood vessels which decreases the amount of congestion in the nose. Unfortunately, the medication isn’t specific to the vessels in the nose alone and restricts all blood vessels. This can lead to one of two problems. In people who have borderline hypertension, it can raise their blood pressure to high levels. With continued use, this can cause cardiac and peripheral vascular problems.
In others, the pseudoephedrine will counteract the effects of the antihypertensive medications that the patient is already taking such as with Aldomet, mecamylamine or reserpine. In these cases, patients who are taking these drugs to control high blood pressure will be left without control or protection against the dangerous effects. Not only is protection gone but the pseudoephedrine can also cause a rise in blood pressure.
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If you have high blood pressure or are taking medications to control your blood pressure, you should be concerned about the connection between Allegra and your blood pressure. Long-term exposure to high blood pressure, or hypertension, will put extra workload on your kidneys, heart and cardiovascular system. This extra stress and strain can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, congestive heart failure or stroke.
Doctors can’t always point to a reason behind hypertension, but they do know what factors place a person at higher risk for developing the symptoms. Many of these factors are reversible and when patients take care of the risk factors the high blood pressure is reduced or controlled more easily with milder medications. These factors are smoking, obesity, poor diet, little rest and lack of exercise.
Before you agree to take Allegra make sure your healthcare provider knows your medical history, the medications you currently take – including vitamins and over the counter medications – and your symptoms. Do not take Allegra if you have had an allergic reaction, have kidney, heart or liver disease, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
While the connection between Allegra and blood pressure is fairly complete there are people who don’t have risk factors who can take this medication to help alleviate their seasonal allergy reactions. For them, this medication is a life saver. For others who have heart disease or hypertension, this medication can cause some serious health risks.
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