The Science Behind Pseudoephedrine
When you have a cold or an allergy attack, your white blood cells gather in your nasal passages and sinuses. This causes nasal membranes to swell and increases mucus production. Pseudoephedrine constricts these blood vessels, which decreases drainage.
But those same constricted vessels might also increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
Pharmacist Kayla Ryan explains the mechanism of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is chemically similar to adrenaline, so the body recognizes it as adrenaline, causing the blood pressure and heart rate to increase.
She refers to one of the last major studies of the effects of pseudoephedrine on blood pressure, which took place in 2005. This study found that pseudoephedrine increased systolic blood pressure by one point on average, while heart rate increased by an average of three beats per minute.
Ryan adds that the immediate-release products had a greater impact on heart rate and blood pressure than their 12 hour or 24 hour extended-release counterparts, which showed a smaller increase in blood pressure.
In 2005, the FDA passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which requires pharmacies to sell all medications containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter. At your local drugstore, youll find cards in the cold and flu aisle with information for these medications. You can take the card to the pharmacist, who is required to scan your drivers license before purchase.
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Taking Decongestants With Other Medicines
Ask a pharmacist or GP before taking decongestants if youâre taking other medicines.
For example, taking decongestants alongside some antidepressants can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
Itâs also important to be careful when taking other medicines if youâre using an âall-in-1â decongestant remedy.
âAll-in-1â decongestants also contain painkillers or antihistamines, so it could be dangerous to take extra doses of these medicines at the same time.
Page last reviewed: 28 February 2019 Next review due: 28 February 2022
Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.
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How Long Do Sinus Headaches Last
Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesnt go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.
How To Use Vicks Sinex Spray Non
Gently blow your nose before using this drug. Use your finger to close the nostril on the side not receiving the medication. While keeping your head upright, place the spray tip into the open nostril. Spray the medication into the open nostril as you breathe in through your nose. Sniff hard a few times to be sure the medication reaches deep into the nose. Repeat these steps for the other nostril if needed.
Avoid spraying the medication into your eyes or onto the middle of the inside of your nose .
Rinse the spray tip with hot water or wipe with a clean tissue after each use. Make sure that water does not get inside the container. Replace cap after each use.
This medication provides only temporary relief. Do not use more often, use more sprays, or use longer than directed because doing so may increase the risk of side effects. Also, do not use this medication for more than 3 days or it may cause a condition called rebound congestion. Symptoms of rebound congestion include long-term redness and swelling inside the nose and increased runny nose. If this occurs, stop using this medication and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Inform your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after 3 days.
What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors’ offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include:
- redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
- purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
- tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
- swelling about the eyes and cheeks.
Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if the bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.
In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.
Ear Pressure Causes And Treatments
Keith Alexander, MD is board-certified in Otolaryngology. He provides services in adult and pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders, and treats allergy and sinus patients of all ages. He specializes in functional and cosmetic nasal surgery, including rhinoplasty. Dr. Alexander can be reached at 278-1114.
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentuckys largest and oldest medical group. With 180+ providers in more than 30 specialties, we have been taking care of 600,000+ visits annually in the Lexington community since 1920.
1221 South Broadway
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Nonprescription Products To Avoid With Hypertension
W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPhBernhardt Professor, Nonprescription Products and DevicesCollege of Pharmacy, Southwestern Oklahoma State UniversityWeatherford, Oklahoma
Researchers have charted an alarming rise in the number of persons with hypertension. For example, the number rose by 30% from 1994 to 2000.1 The CDC estimated the percentage of noninstitutionalized adults aged 20 years and above with hypertension to be 32%.2 The number of ambulatory visits that have hypertension as the primary diagnosis is estimated to be 40.5 million.2 In 2006, there were 23,855 deaths due to hypertension, or 8 per 100,000 population.2
The National Institutes of Health has provided this hypertension advice for the lay public: Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.3 Of course, this optimistic statement assumes that patients do not unknowingly take any action that would raise their blood pressure. For instance, some nonprescription medications may cause dangerous rises in blood pressure, and the labels reflect that danger by recommending that patients speak to a physician before using them. However, some patients ignore the labels completely. Others may choose to ask the pharmacist about the warning. For this reason, it is important for pharmacists to be aware of which products carry the warning and which alternative products may be recommended.
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
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How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
What Is Acetaminophen And Why We Eliminate It Too
It can be unbearable to suffer from allergic symptoms, and it is natural to want to relieve yourself of pain and fever. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever, used for treating many conditions such as sinus, headache, backache, toothache and fever. It comes with side effects:
- Swelling of the tongue or lips
- Difficulty with breathing
- Serious skin reactions. Between 1969 and 2012, the Food and Drug Administration found that 67 people required hospitalization of which 12 died after skin reactions were reported after taking acetaminophen products. This comes from documented medical literature. One of the skin reactions linked to acetaminophen included Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis . You start with flu-like symptoms such as headache, aches and fever and progress to a blister-like rash. The skin starts peeling and the hair starts falling out. This skin reaction is often fatal.
There are different brands and forms of acetaminophen available, but all labeling warns you not to take more than is recommended. It can damage your liver, more so if you drink alcohol with it.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Fast
You can treat a sinus infection at home or with OTC medications for symptom relief, and/or a prescription antibiotic medication, in the case of a bacterial infection. Stay hydrated, use a humidifier, and sleep at an incline to help resolve your sinus infection quickly. Consult your healthcare provider to see if you need an antibiotic.
Can/should I Take A Sinus Decongestant For A Sinus Infection
You can take certain decongestants for a sinus infection. Decongestants that contain only pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine are more typically recommended for a sinus infection. Decongestants with additional ingredients like antihistamines may suppress your bodys immune response and interfere with your bodys ability to fight the infection. If you have a severe sinus infection, or if youre on antibiotics, consult with your doctor about the best OTC medication choice for you.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Sinus Headache
Most people with sinus headache recover completely, although many people may develop sinus headache again in the future.
Complications of sinus headache are not common. Rarely, an untreated sinus infection can erode through the bones and involve adjacent structures, including the eye socket or brain, potentially causing pain and swelling of the eye or symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. Infection that spreads to the blood vessels in the area of the sinuses can cause inflammation and blood clots. The cavernous sinus is a collection of veins located near the sphenoid sinus that can potentially become infected and form blood clots.
What Causes Sinus Symptoms
If you find yourself frequently dealing with sinus pain and sinus pressure, finding the cause is an important step toward finding sinus relief. Any time the tissue in your nose and sinuses gets swollen and inflamed, it can lead to sinus problems. Here are a few sinus problem causes to consider:
- Temperature changes
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Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
- DonÃ¢t smoke, and avoid other peopleâs smoke.
- Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
- Stay away from things you know youÃ¢re allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
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Best For Itchy Eyes: Medique Otc Medicine For Sinus Pressure
Next on the list, weve got yet another medicine that manages to win our hearts. Its the medique OTC medicinefor sinus pressure and its widely considered as medicine that has the most suitable features. The medique OTC medicine for sinus pressure is also a great asset for survival kits. You can keep them in your home or car first aid kit. The powerful active ingredient found in these nasal decongestant pills can help ease symptoms of allergies, the common cold, and hay fever.
Above all, the medique OTC medicine for sinus pressure has been opened or damaged in any way, Do not use it.
Most buyers agree that the medicine reduces any allergies symptoms and also it is a great value for the money. Moreover, a few strongly agree that the medicine is easy to grab and go in a purse or pocket, and very easy to tear open.
Top Customer Quotes:
- This is good for allergies and it is great for sinus issues.
- This comes with an expiration date, is expensive and it is great for chronic sinusitis.
- Look no further than these sinus decongestant tablets by medi-first.
- This medicine will help clear up your sinuses, giving you the relief you need.
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How To Use Warm Compress For Sinus Pain
Using a hot or warm compress for sinus congestion is probably one of the easiest and oldest tricks in the proverbial book of home remedies. And for good reason it works almost every time!
You see, the warmth emanating from the compress helps dilate the blood vessels in your sinus cavities. When your blood vessels open up, it allows the blood to flow freely. This helps relieve the pressure in your sinus which in turn helps the facial muscles and nasal tissues to soften and relax.
To make a warm compress, youll need a clean face towel or washcloth and a bowl of hot water. Make sure that the water is warm enough to produce a weak steam but not too hot that it burns your face.
First, dip the washcloth in the water and put it over your face. Then sit in a reclining position with the warm compress on your face and stay in that position for about three minutes. Repeat the process as many times as necessary. Some people recommend doing this for 15 minutes but the experience usually differs from one person to another.
While it might be tempting to use heating pads instead of wet washcloths, doing so may only worsen your sinusitis. Thats because hot dry air can further dry out your sinuses causing the mucus buildup to harden and your nasal passages more prone to cracking and scabbing. Whereas wet washcloths produce steam that helps moisturize your nasal airways and softens the mucus, helping them drain more easily.
Over The Counter Sinus Remedies
The symptoms of acute sinusitis often resemble those of the common cold. Like the common cold, most cases of acute bacterial sinusitis are self-limited and will resolve in time. While antibiotics will shorten the course of most sinus infections, there are several treatments available without a prescription that can make you more comfortable. The goals of treatment are to manage pain, improve sinus drainage, and decrease congestion.
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Best For Chest Congestion: Nasacort Nasal Spray For Sinus Infection
The Nasacort Nasal Spray For Sinus Infection is capable of outshining several other sprays featured in this list in overall features for the price point. The nasacort nasal spray for sinus infection is fragrance free and it is highly recommend. Please consult with your doctor before taking nasacort with any other medication. Also, the spray works for itchy eyes, matches the product description and it is perfect for night time.
The spray works for other ingredients and it is safe to use. Finally, the nasacort nasal sprayfor sinus infection is alcohol free and it is great for nasal allergies.
Almost all customers quickly discovered that the spray is when required a prescription and not an OTC drug. Moreover, they strongly agree that the spray is good for allergy relief but not cold symptoms. In addition, a few strongly agree that this nasal spray really does last 24 hours like the company claims. In conclusion, buyers found this to be one of the best sprays for daily purposes.
Top Customer Quotes:
- I used to need benadryl every day but never need it now.
- This can be used as directed with blood pressure medication.
- Take nasacort nasal allergy spray day or night.
- You can buy multiple packs, which makes it more affordable.