Long - Term Use Of Paracetamol Can Have A Bad Effect On Your Body
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According to the studies, those with high blood pressure who take prescription paracetamol may increase their risk of heart attack and stroke. Doctors should consider the risk and benefits for patients who take it for several months.
They emphasize that taking the medicine for headaches and fever is safe. Other experts say that it is necessary to do research on more people over a longer period to confirm the findings.
Paracetamol is used worldwide as a short-term painkiller and is frequently prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain.
In the UK, one in three people has a problem with high blood pressure.
The study involved 110 volunteers, two-thirds of whom were taking medication for high blood pressure or hypertension.
Participants in this randomized research were given a gram of paracetamol four times a day for two weeks - the standard dose for chronic pain patients - and then a counterfeit pill or placebo for another two weeks.
The study showed that paracetamol increases blood pressure more than a placebo, making it one of the most important risk factors for heart attack and strokes.
Researchers advise doctors to prescribe as few doses of paracetamol as possible and to carefully monitor those with high blood pressure or heart disease.
"This does not apply to short-term use of paracetamol for headaches or fevers, which is, of course, fine," said lead researcher Dr. Ian McEntyre, a consultant in clinical pharmacology at the British National Health Service (NHS) in Lothian.
Dr. Dipender Jill, a lecturer in clinical pharmacology and therapy at St. George's University in London, said the study, published in the journal Circulation, found a "small but significant increase in blood pressure in the white Scottish population".
However, he adds, there are still a lot of unknowns. He said that it is not clear whether the observed increase in blood pressure would be maintained by the long-term use of paracetamol. He added that it is unclear if any increase in blood pressure caused by paracetamol use increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Other smaller studies have not been able to confirm this connection.
The Edinburgh researchers said they couldn't explain why paracetamol could boost blood pressure, but their findings should lead to changes in the way long-term paracetamol prescriptions are written.
Previously it was assumed to be safer than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, which have been linked to an increase in blood pressure in some individuals.
The British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, said that doctors and patients should regularly think about whether any medication is needed, even something "relatively harmless like paracetamol".