OTC painkillers and blood pressure

OTC Painkillers And Blood Pressure

Did you know?

Many common over-the-counter drugs taken for pain can push your high blood pressure even higher.

Many people take OTC painkillers to treat their aches and pains. They assume that over the counter medications are safe. However, OTC painkillers can increase blood pressure which can detrimental to those with high blood pressure. Many patients don’t realize the risks of taking these painkillers.

OTC pain drugs that can increase blood pressure are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most common NSAIDs are Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Moreover, popular prescription arthritis pain medications such as Vioxx and Bextra have been removed from the market due to health risks.

The chances of having high blood pressure increases with NSAIDs if you’re;

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Diabetic
  • Or an individual having kidney, heart, or liver problems

How to Take NSAIDs?

  • Taking an NSAID once in a while is okay. But if you are a blood pressure patient, taking an NSAID regularly for a week can push your blood pressure higher. There are chances that your blood pressure medication might not work for you well. So if your diagnosed with high blood pressure, taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) might be a better option for you.
  • Make sure to take the smallest dose of your pain medication, no matter which painkiller you take to treat your pain. Moreover, make sure to take painkillers as per the directions given on the bottle. It is best if you consult with your healthcare provider before taking an NSAID for regular use.
  • Keep a check on your blood pressure regularly. If your blood pressure shoots up, consult with your doctor immediately. He or she can fine tune your blood pressure meds to work better.

If you have high blood pressure, keeping it under control is really important. So, before you grab your painkiller bottle next time, it’s best to consult with your doctor.

Alternative For Pain Relief

If you really don’t want to take OTCs for mild aches and pains, there are some other alternatives for pain relief. Many effective and safe alternatives that don’t have any side effects at all are:

  • Heat – Using a hot towel or heating pad can be helpful for treating chronic However, you shouldn’t use heat on recent injuries.
  • Icepacks – You can use icepacks for acute injuries like a sprained ankle. Ice packs can reduce swelling and ease pain.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise such as meditation, yoga, or aerobics can be used to manage arthritis related pain.
  • Nontraditional techniques –Techniques like acupuncture can help some people with mild to moderate pain.

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