Scientists from the University of Edinburgh recently found that long-term paracetamol use could increase the risk of heart disease and strokes in people with high blood pressure.
Paracetamol was often suggested as a safer alternative to another class of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
A previous study has shown that NSAIDs could increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
To avoid these risk factors, some patients use the prescription for Paracetamol to treat chronic pain.
According to this study, these people should choose the lowest effective dose of Paracetamol for the shortest possible time.
In the study, the team examined 110 patients with a history of high blood pressure. These patients were prescribed one gram of paracetamol four times a day (a routinely prescribed dose in patients with chronic pain), or a matched placebo for two weeks.
The researchers found that the participants prescribed paracetamol saw a significant increase in their blood pressure, compared with those taking the placebo.
This rise was similar to that seen with NSAIDs, and might be expected to increase the risk of heart disease or stroke by around 20 percent.
The findings suggest that it is necessary to conduct a review of long-term paracetamol prescriptions to patients—particularly those with high blood pressure, or those at particular risk of heart disease or stroke.
As Professor James Dear says, this study clearly shows that paracetamol—the world’s most used drug—increases blood pressure, one of the most important risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.
Doctors and patients together should consider the risks versus the benefits of long-term paracetamol prescription, especially in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study was conducted by Iain MacIntyre et al and published in Circulation.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and tongues of people with heart failure look totally different.
For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that calcium supplements may harm your heart health, and results showing Flu and COVID-19 vaccines may increase heart disease risk.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.