Q. Can Preparation H raise blood pressure? I have been using Preparation H for a few weeks for a hemorrhoid problem. During that time it seems that my blood pressure has been going up.
My pressure has always been in the normal range of 120/80 or lower but now I'm seeing systolic numbers in the 130 to 140 range. I noticed that in the Prep H warning it mentions to ask your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure.
A. One of the active ingredients in Preparation H is phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor. This is the same drug that is used as a decongestant in some nasal sprays and oral cold medicines.
Vasoconstrictors work by contracting blood vessels and shrinking swollen tissues. One possible side effect is increased blood pressure. Anesthesiologists sometimes use phenylephrine to raise blood pressure during surgery if a patient’s blood pressure drops too low.
The rectum is well supplied with blood vessels. That is why suppositories are effective for delivering drugs into the blood stream. When phenylephrine is absorbed from these delicate tissues, it may raise blood pressure. One reader ended up in the ER with a blood pressure of 206/98 after using Preparation H for several days.