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OTC Painkillers Raise Your Blood Pressure

As you know, drugs sold over the counter (OTC) can be just as dangerous to your health as those sold behind it. Common painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are no exception.

This new study, monitoring the health of some 16,000 male health care workers with no history of hypertension, discovered about one out of every eight patients over a four-year span were more prone to elevated blood pressures, with OTC analgesics as the common link, based on the numbers:

Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen presented the highest risk (38 percent) for elevated blood pressures among those who took OTC painkillers virtually every day, followed closely by acetaminophen (34 percent) and aspirin (26 percent).

The most interesting number of them all: Patients who took at least 15 pain-relieving pills each week elevated their risk for hypertension by almost 50 percent, compared to those who took none.

Remember, the best solutions for treating your pain have nothing at all to do with taking a drug, so don't waste your money or your health on them.

Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 167, No. 4, February 26, 2007: 394-399

EurekAlert February 26, 2007