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Answers from the BJC Experts

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I have a very congested nose and sinus headache. I do have high blood pressure. Can I take Coricidin HBP and loratadine together? The loratadine does not seem to be helping my congestion.

Both the Coricidin HBP product (chlorpheniramine, dextromethorphan) and loratadine (Claritin) contain an antihistamine. Do not take them together. Antihistamines can actually make congestion worse. These dry out the membranes, which can cause added congestion.

With high blood pressure, what I recommend is to use saline nasal spray (Ocean, Ayr), drink plenty of fluids and stand in a hot shower or steam room whenever possible. If you have chest congestion, you can use Mucinex (guaifenesin) and drink plenty of water. If the congestion gets worse, if you have problems breathing or if you have an uncontrolled fever, please contact your physician.

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