Has anyone else had this problem? I've been told that my blood pressure is too high....is Zyrtec (cetirizine) the problem?

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    Nov 09, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    I was told mid-summer during a health screening that my BP was too high.
    Or mildly high.... 138/78.(I don't think that's all that bad for 52 y/o.)
    Some time later I go to see my regular Dr. He says it's 135/75. He wasn't too concerned, given that my family seems to have "White Coat Hypertension". (I take my BP at home with one of the better 'at home' sphygmomanometers, not some cheap WalMart thing. It's always lower at home than the Drs office. Usually 120-125 over 68-70, depending on time of day, how much work I've been doing...etc)
    Long story short, I had been taking Zyrtec for allergies since February. I had to go to an eye-specialist in October who wanted me to stop taking any allergy meds for a month before the exam so that it wouldn't interfere with intra-ocular pressure, etc.

    Guess what my BP is now? 125/70 Same as it's been since I was 20
    Does anyone know if Zyrtec (cetirizine) may cause Hypertension?
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    Nov 09, 2009 1:29 AM GMT

    It can, but the studies are non-conclusive as far as being proven directly causative. About 2% possibility per this site:

    http://www.rxlist.com/zyrtec-drug.htm

    I recommend always taking blood pressure when you're feeling calm and relaxed and best done at home where that's more likely. I take Mom's after she's been sitting with a book for about 10 minutes.

    No porn. She giggles.

    -Doug
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    Nov 09, 2009 5:17 AM GMT
    I've only taken this a few times, but I've learned through other experiences that meds can really cause a lot more trouble than they do good. For instance I was prescribed one of the strongest anti-inflamatory for my bercitis in my shoulders and arms. I started having a lot of trouble with heartburn, which in turn increased my heart rate on average from in the low 90's per minute to up to 120 per minute. My normal heart rate when resting was around 60 and when younger was around 52. When I told my doctor, he took me off the Anti-inflamatory and my resting heart rate went back down to around 70 per minute. I stayed off the med. and my doctor told me to try good old natural fish oil for my joint trouble and in 4 months the problem ended without harmful meds. Another group of meds to watch is high bloodpressure meds. nearly all of them have quite radical side affects. Be ware !!!
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    Nov 09, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    Thanks, MenInLove & RealLifeDad. I always take my BP rested....and at least 30 mins after porn. LOL

    Yeah, I also had experienced heartburn with Zyrtec. Another good reason to avoid it.
    Ahh, well. Once again Western Medicine causes more problems than it corrects. I'll go back to my natural allergy remedy & Zicam.
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    Nov 09, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    realifedad saidmeds can really cause a lot more trouble than they do good.


    Agreed. I avoid them everywhere possible and most especially antibiotics. On those very rare occasions where I do require a prescription (once a decade maybe?), I demand generics, and preferably one that has been on the market for 40-50 years, so that all side effects are well known, as opposed to the new, still under patent, rushed to market, drugs.
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    Nov 09, 2009 4:59 PM GMT
    Believe it or not "OATMEAL" has a good natural remedial affect on blood pressure, so try including it in your daily diet. It is also very good for your colon. Its one of the most often listed diet habbits of centenarians when asked what has led to their longevity. I wish doctors were more educated on the simple dietary facts out there, that would help people not need meds to treat only symtoms.
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    Nov 09, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    I didn't see which Zyrtec you were taking but if it has the Decongestant in it than it can up your blood pressure. Too much salt intake and actually Stress can do it to also up your BP. Hope you figure it out cause it can be a real pain in the ass. I had problems after surgery last year cause of high bp cause by stress and anxiety.
  • Celticmusl

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    Nov 09, 2009 5:36 PM GMT
    For my inherent moderately high blood pressure(it was first diagnosed when I was 14) I take hawthorn, maitake mushroom, CoQ10, and a mineral mix with potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, etc.

    Maitake mushroom works like a charm, but you have to take it a couple of months to notice the benefit. Also, it is the best thing I've used to help with my allergies. Actually, my allergies have seemed to subside over the last 8 yrs or so.
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    Nov 09, 2009 5:39 PM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite saidI was told mid-summer during a health screening that my BP was too high.
    Or mildly high.... 138/78.(I don't think that's all that bad for 52 y/o.)
    Some time later I go to see my regular Dr. He says it's 135/75. He wasn't too concerned, given that my family seems to have "White Coat Hypertension". (I take my BP at home with one of the better 'at home' sphygmomanometers, not some cheap WalMart thing. It's always lower at home than the Drs office. Usually 120-125 over 68-70, depending on time of day, how much work I've been doing...etc)
    Long story short, I had been taking Zyrtec for allergies since February. I had to go to an eye-specialist in October who wanted me to stop taking any allergy meds for a month before the exam so that it wouldn't interfere with intra-ocular pressure, etc.

    Guess what my BP is now? 125/70 Same as it's been since I was 20
    Does anyone know if Zyrtec (cetirizine) may cause Hypertension?


    Hard telling what elevates it, but, if your bp is 138/78, most cardiologists would tell you not to worry about it, especially since you have muscle. Muscle is harder to pump through, and if you're in shape, a slightly higher pressure is not going to cause problems. Now, if your bp gets up into the 150's or more, you risks kidney damage, more than anything, and some possible remodeling of your heart. There's a long list of things that will bump your bp up.

    Understand, that most decongestants work by CONSTRICTING blood vessels. If you have hypertension, you should NEVER take decongestants. It could cause problems, including stroke, kidney damage, eye damage, and even damage leading to congestive heart failure.

    Not treating hypertension, especially if you're not activate, has a long list of nasty problems....

    D formulations have ephedrine in them and will elevate your blood pressure. Non-D formulations do not.

    You have to be VERY SPECIFIC when talking about drugs.

    Whatever the drug, you should review the patient safety data.

    Some folks, don't do well on ACE inhibs, ARBs, CCBs. For some, any of the aforementioned will cause nasty angio edema. Beta blockers, and alpha agonists work by slowing your down, which can be a real drag. Many have found that HRT (testosterone) and daily exercise brings their bp down. A good cardiologist will be understand the benefits of HRT (protects your heart, muscle mass, bones, libido, prevents disease of aging, and enhances cognitive skills), and daily exercise. Best to prevent the problem than treat it, and HRT is one answer that WORKS.

    Blood pressure is closely tied to electrolytes. For many folks, drinking more water is all they need. Believe it, or not.
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    Nov 09, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    Zyrtec-D's got pseudoephedrine in it. Pseudoephedrine works because it makes your blood vessels constrict... which reduces pressure on your sinus cavity but jacks your blood pressure through the ceiling.
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    Nov 09, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    Has there been any difference between your at-home b.p. readings while you were on zyrtec vs. not on zyrtec? That's the best comparison you can make to determine whether zyrtec is actually having an effect on your blood pressure. Readings at the doctor's office are highly variable for many reasons, so I wouldn't worry too much if you see high readings there. If you're worried that you may have prehypertension I would suggest taking regular readings of your blood pressure at different times of day for several days (if you want, try while taking zyrtec and while not taking it to do that comparison) with your home reader and see if you notice a difference.

    For someone in their early 50s I think a systolic reading under 140 is alright. You expect some increase in bp with age because of decreasing vascular compliance (stretchability) which would have otherwise made accomodations for transient increases in bp. The fact that most of your readings are in the 120s is pretty good (just make sure you've got the reader in the right place, etc). I'm not sure where Chucky's statement about muscle increasing blood pressure comes from. Though it certainly sounds like it would make sense, studies have shown that individuals with higher muscle mass ratio actually have better controlled blood pressure. Also, exercise causes vascular proliferation. Vascular proliferation would tend to lower blood pressure by increasing the number of capillaries in parallel with one another and producing a greater cross-sectional area across the capillary bed, thereby reducing the resistance faced by blood passing through the tissues and in turn reducing blood pressure.
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    Nov 09, 2009 9:03 PM GMT
    Many athletes, especially those with much muscle, will run near 135 to 140 systolic. It's well known that muscle tissue is denser than fat, and that it takes a bit more force to push blood through that thicker, and heavier, tissue. It well know that your bp will go even higher when lifting because of the way your body works under load. I encourage you to study it further.

    With regard to the Zyrtec, the poster didn't say whether he was using a decongestant, which is the very first culprit to look for when he starts talking about allergy medicine.

    By the old standard, anything below 140/90 is considered o.k. By the new standard, mostly set by Big Pharm, anything over 120/90 is considered high, and ideal this is considered to be 115/75. Most active folks, and especially those with much muscle, can't keep a blood pressure as low as 115 without medications, and the medications often have side effects.

    WATER is an important factor to maintaining proper renal function which affects blood pressure.

    Genetic hypertension is also a fact of life for many. Obesity, lack of water (and messed up electrolytes), along with lack of exercise contribute, too. While cause isn't directly known, what is known is that water, good diet, low alcohol consumption, no tobacco consumption, and exercise all work in a positive way to abate hypertension.
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    Nov 09, 2009 9:27 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidMany athletes, especially those with much muscle, will run near 135 to 140 systolic. It's well known that muscle tissue is denser than fat, and that it takes a bit more force to push blood through that thicker, and heavier, tissue. It well know that your bp will go even higher when lifting because of the way your body works under load. I encourage you to study it further.


    You're mixing together some very discrete (separate) principles of cardiovascular physiology to make your argument.

    First, while muscle tissue is denser than fat, that is going to have a very minimal effect (if any) on blood flow. This would not only be in our disinterest for muscles to create vascular resistance because muscle has a much higher oxygen requirement than adipose tissue, but is also a metabolically flawed argument. If the mass of the muscle were to restrict perfusion of blood through the muscles, the muscles would start to perform anaerobic respiration, leading to production of anaerobic metabolites such as adenosine which would lead to a very strong localized vasodilation. This would, in turn, increase flow to the muscles and lower blood pressure. This is, in part, why circulatory shock is a self-perpetuating cycle (blood pressure keeps dropping further and further, since bp is down to begin with and muscles keep taking more and more of the cardiac output by dilating afferent vessels), unless treated.

    Second, while lifting, your blood pressure increases dramatically because the muscles are actively constricting, effectively wringing the blood out from them. Your muscles aren't doing this all the time. That is why a powerlifter can have normal blood pressure at rest but can have a blood pressure of as high as 350/250 while lifting.

    You can find all of this in any physiology textbook.
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    Nov 09, 2009 9:36 PM GMT
    I currently take Zyrtec and have a history of HBP. Currently on meds for the HBP and have increased my workout program to include more cardio. BP has dropped from 145/85 to 118-120/80. My Dr. agrees with the new set up and I have maintained the correct BP for over a year. What may be helping of when I take Zyrtec. I do not take it everyday all year round. I reduce the intake between November through February when the allergens are not highly concentrated. Use it on a "as need basis".
    Hope this helps you make a decision on what to do. Talk to an allergist for more info on what you can use that will not interfere with your BP.
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    Nov 09, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    Also, Chucky, you say that most athletes have elevated blood pressures, but I'm not sure where you're getting that from either.

    Highly trained athletes generally have a significantly slower heart rate and a much higher stroke volume (this allows them to drastically increase cardiac output when exercising just by marginally increasing heart rate) but their resting blood pressure should be normal. The body's baroreceptors really like to maintain a pressure around 120, unless they get acclimated to a higher or lower set-point (for various reasons).

    I just did a google search for "athlete blood pressure" and all the links that come up, including one from Mayo, say that athletes generally have a lower resting blood pressure. That's even more drastically different than what I was saying.