In a nutshell
This study evaluated the effects of using regular acetaminophen (Paracetamol) on blood pressure (BP) in patients with hypertension (high BP). The data showed that regular daily acetaminophen use increased BP in these patients and increased the risk of cardiovascular disease when compared with placebo.
Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) is a common condition, particularly in older people. It increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also increases the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke. Managing BP can sometimes require multiple medications.
The most common BP-interfering medications are non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil) block the activity of COX enzymes and reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen works by blocking the brain from releasing substances that cause the feeling of pain. It does not help reduce swelling or inflammation. Acetaminophen is widely used as first-line therapy for chronic pain because of its safety and the assumption that, unlike NSAIDs, it has little or no effect on BP. It is also used to reduce fever. However, the effects of using regular acetaminophen on BP in patients with hypertension are still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study involved 103 patients with hypertension. Patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups. Group 1 included 53 patients who received 1 g of acetaminophen four times daily for 2 weeks. Group 2 included 50 patients who received a placebo. After 2 weeks, the patients in group 1 were assigned to receive placebo treatment, and patients in group 2 were assigned to receive acetaminophen.
Patients who received regular acetaminophen had an average systolic blood pressure (SBP; blood pressure when the heart beats) increase of 4.6 mm Hg compared to patients who received placebo.
Patients who received regular acetaminophen had an average diastolic blood pressure (SBP; blood pressure between the heart beats) increase of 1.6 mm Hg compared to patients who received placebo.
The bottom line
This study concluded that regular daily acetaminophen use increases BP in patients with hypertension when compared with placebo.
The fine print
The sample size was very small and the follow-up time was too short. This study was conducted at a single institution in Edinburgh, UK. The study included patients who did not suffer from chronic pain and would not normally be taking regular acetaminophen.
Published By :
Feb 08, 2022