Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some painkillers raise blood pressure

Study finds painkillers raise blood pressure Reuters/Yahoo!News 2/26/07 "Popular painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can raise blood pressure and thus the risk of heart disease among men...Men who took such drugs for most days in a week were about one-third more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure than men not taking them, the researchers found...Men who took acetaminophen (paracetamol), sold generically and under the Tylenol brand name, six or seven days a week were 34 percent more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure than men who did not take analgesics. Men who took aspirin that regularly were 26 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than non-users. For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, which include ibuprofen and naproxen, the increased risk was 38 percent...Men who took 15 or more NSAID pills a week were 48 percent more likely than non-users to have high blood pressure. The drugs can affect the ability of blood vessels to expand, and may also cause sodium retention -- two factors that can both raise blood pressure...men who are advised by a doctor to take an aspirin a day to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke should not stop taking them, cautioned Curhan. "The benefit outweighs the risk"..."

This is a bit of a surprise, esp. for aspirin. A guess the rule of thumb now is if you're taking a daily dose of aspirin, or other pain killer, get your blood pressure checked regularly and watch for a rise.

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