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Preparation H Raises Blood Pressure?

Posting Date: 10/02/2000

Q: After using Preparation H for several days, my blood pressure went to 206 over 98 and I ended up in the emergency department for hours.

Later that week I read in your column that someone else had experienced the same problem. My doctor was skeptical, to say the least, so I lent him the clipping. Now he can't find it to return it.

Would you write about this again? I never had high blood pressure before in my life. It is always around 130 over 65.

A: Preparation H was reformulated several years ago, and now contains phenylephrine. This compound constricts blood vessels, which can cause an elevation in blood pressure.

There is a warning on the label: "Do not use this product if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, or difficulty in urination due to enlargement of the prostate gland unless directed by a doctor."

Your experience suggests some healthy people should also be wary.