Soluble drugs full of salt

November 30, 2013 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Take an aspirin to prevent high blood pressure and a stroke and possibly get one at the same time.

Soluble versions of aspirin and paracetamol are laden with salt and can sharply increase patients’ risk of high blood pressure and stroke, a BMJ study suggests.

Published 26 November 2013, the study showed a 22% elevation in incident stroke rates over seven years among patients who took any sodium-containing medications – including soluble, effervescent and dispersible versions – compared with those taking ordinary tablets. “This increased risk of stroke was probably associated with the increased risk of hypertension”. These patients also had 28% higher rates of all-cause mortality, the study found.

Recommended doses of some of the painkillers were found to contain 50% more salt than the safe daily limits for adults.

soluble drugs full of salt BMJ

Click here to read the Spinewave report on high blood pressure

The researchers behind the study, carried out by University College London and the University of Dundee, are now warning patients to avoid regularly taking soluble painkillers. The finding has prompted calls for stricter labelling of drugs’ sodium content, and for doctors to use non-soluble versions where possible.

Reference: Association between cardiovascular events and sodium-containing effervescent, dispersible, and soluble drugs: nested case-control study. BMJ 2013;347:f6954

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