It's been recently reported that if you are frequently popping over-the-counter pain meds, you should know that they can raise your blood pressure, which in turn can lead to heart disease.
Although men were the subject of this recent study, it confirms earlier research conducted on the effects of OTC pain medication on women's blood pressure.
The medications studied are staples in your medicine cabinet like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Researchers found, when reviewing data from both studies, that men and women who took these drugs for 6-7 days in a week were 1/3 more likely to develop high blood pressure.
The study showed that men who took acetaminophen were 34% more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure. Men who took aspirin were 26% more likely to have high blood pressure than non-users. Those who used ibuprofen increased their risk by 38%.
These drugs can affect the ability of blood vessels to expand and may also cause sodium retention, which are 2 factors that can both raise blood pressure.
Fit's Tips: If you've been advised by your doctor to take 1 aspirin a day, you should stick with it. If you're popping 8 ibuprofen pills a day to combat lower back pain, you should reconsider your strategy. See if you can fix the problem rather than just masking the pain.