Over-the-Counter Pain Meds May Increase High Blood Pressure

Some common over-the-counter pain relievers may increase the risk of high blood pressure in men.

That is what a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital says.

Researchers looked at more than 16,000 middle-aged men with no history of high blood pressure.

The men were asked to fill out a questionnaire; some of the questions were about their use of over-the-counter pain relievers.

And the doctors say the typical drugs such as aspirin and acetaminophen increased the risk for high blood pressure, or hypertension if they are used often.

Dr. Gary Curhan, an epidemiologist, says "They can also have side effects, such as bleeding with aspirin and non-steroidals, and they have other affects on blood vessels those result in increases in blood pressure."

The doctor says there are plenty of benefits to over-the-counter drugs, but it is important to only use them when you really need them.

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