August 20, 2022

Paracetamol is often prescribed for chronic pain or bought over the counter

Dosing yourself with daily paracetamol actually increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, new research has revealed.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh took 110 patients with a history of high blood pressure and prescribed them one gram of paracetamol four times a day or a placebo for two weeks. After two weeks, the trial was reversed, so the placebo group got paracetamol.

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The study revealed that blood pressure had risen significantly among those taking paracetamol within four days. The dose increased the average person’s risk of a cardiac event by 20 per cent, reports the Telegraph.

Professor David Webb, chair of therapeutics and clinical pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We have always thought that paracetamol was the safe alternative if we were trying to advise patients to stop using drugs like ibuprofen, which are known to raise blood pressure.”

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He added that consideration should be taken to stop prescribing paracetamol for those at risk of heart attacks or strokes and that low doses are prescribed to other patients, increasing in stages, “going no higher than needed to control pain”.

One in 10 people take daily prescribed paracetamol for chronic pain, and an unknown number self-medicate with over-the-counter purchases.

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