Health Experts Issue Caution on Regular Consumption of Paracetamol


Regularly consuming this painkiller could elevate your risk of stroke and heart disease by 20 percent. Many individuals rely on painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen to alleviate common ailments such as headaches, backaches, and fevers. While these medications are generally safe when used as directed on the package, research suggests that regular use may pose risks.

Previously, it was believed that paracetamol was entirely safe for individuals with high blood pressure. However, a study conducted in 2022 discovered that long-term usage of paracetamol could heighten the risk of heart disease and stroke among individuals with hypertension.

Researchers have indicated that the impact on blood pressure is akin to that observed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.

In a study led by a team from the University of Edinburgh, 110 patients with a history of high blood pressure were assigned to receive either one gram of paracetamol four times daily or a matched placebo for a duration of two weeks. The dosage of four grams of paracetamol per day is commonly prescribed for patients experiencing chronic pain. Each patient received both treatments in a randomized and blinded order.

Patients administered paracetamol exhibited a notable increase in their blood pressure compared to those receiving the placebo. This elevation resembled the effect observed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and could potentially heighten the risk of heart disease or stroke by approximately 20 percent.

As a result, the team recommended that patients with a prolonged prescription for the painkiller should be administered the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Professor James Dear, who holds the personal chair of clinical pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, elucidated: “This study unequivocally demonstrates that paracetamol, the most widely used drug globally, elevates blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.”

Prof Dear emphasized that doctors and patients should collectively evaluate the risks and benefits, particularly in cases where patients are susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

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