Pharmacy/decongestant

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Question
Hi Nanaz,

I apologize for my ignorance in the medical field, but just had to ask.

My wife has high blood pressure and she is unable to take decongestants for a head cold because it raises her blood pressure.
That got me thinking, as a child she had a lot of problems with her ears and the pediatrician at the time prescribed decongestants for two years, which didn’t help by the way. So she was constantly on decongestants for two solid years.
Anyway, if taking decongestants now increases her blood pressure, can taking decongestants as a child for two years cause high blood pressure?
She is overweight, but high blood pressure doesn’t seem to run in her family.
Thank you,
Randy
USA – MA

Answer
Hi,  I am uncertain if taking decongestants for 2 solid years as a child would cause hypertension as an adult.  Most likely it would not.  Once the offending agent is removed the blood pressure should return to baseline levels.  If she is overweight, it may contribute to her high blood pressure.  Heavily salted foods can increase blood pressure as can stress and lack of exercise.  I would recommend having her talk to her doctor about all this.  There are medications that can cause high blood pressure; I am uncertain if she is on any medications.  

Thanks for the question,

nanaz  

Pharmacy

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Nanaz Khosrowshahi

Expertise

Being a pharmacist, I can answer questions on medications. This includes how drugs work in the body, drug interactions, drug side effects, warnings and precautions to take when using certain medications, dosage forms and strengths, management of overdosing, storage of medications, drug administration, contraindications, and drug indications. I am able to guide them on lab work that needs to be drawn and monitored while on certain medications. I am able to help patients save money when purchasing medications by directing them to cost-effective therapies. I am able to answer questions on federal laws governing pharmacy practice in the United States. I am unable to answer questions legally as if I am diagnosing the patient's disease or illness. For example, if a patient stated he had upper flank pain, I am unable to say he definitely has a urinary tract infection. However, I am able to direct the patient to the correct next step, which is to call his physician with such a side effect.

Experience

I have been a licensed pharmacist since 2007, holding licenses in CT and MA. I have a PHARM.D from an accelerated pharmacy school program. Currently, I work at the Hebrew Home and Hospital in West Hartford, CT as a pharmacist. I am a well-rounded pharmacist, with experience in long-term care, IV home infusion, retail, hospital, and hospice. I serve as the pharmacy unit coordinator for Mass Dispensing Area #31 in CT, where I am called upon as a volunteer pharmacist in case of public emergencies, such as anthrax threats. I helped run the swine flu vaccine clinic in 2009. I am on the Editorial Advisory Board for Pharmacy Today, a publication of the American Pharmacists Association. My position on the board runs for three years. Every month I make suggestions and offer ideas that would help improve the magazine. I have undergone extra training to administer vaccines to patients, which is training that only a certain percentage of registered pharmacists in the country have.

Organizations
American Pharmacists Association 2007

Education/Credentials
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester, MA- PHARM.D 2007 University of California, Irvine- BA psychology 2001 cum laude

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