Different 'strokes'

Published: Monday 30 June 1997

Ordinary cold remedies and other productscontaining decongestants can lead to strokes in otherwise healthy people, according to Eric Raps, director of Pennsylvania Medical Center's division of stroke and neurointensive care, Philad lphia. Raps is of the opinion that cians should warn habitual and long-term users of decongestants as they have noticed strokes even in younger people. Decongestants work by constricting ble, in and around the nose, thus reducing the amount of fluid entering the airways. if they can affect the blood vessels in the nose, they could also cause constriction elsewhere, says Raps. People who have conditions that cause blood vessel constriction like migraine, need to be especially careful, according to Raps (The Lancet, Vol 349, No 9059).

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