Some Over-the-Counter (OTC) Meds can Increase Blood Pressure

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Although nearly half of all U.S. adults have high blood pressure, only 29% think that over-the-counter pain relievers can raise blood pressure, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA).

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Just 53% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension ) check with their doctor before taking the medication.

That’s a potentially dangerous misstep because of the fact that many OTC pain relievers, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium (Aleve), can increase blood pressure.

A new survey conducted on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA) polled 2,013 U.S. adults age 18 and older, reports Forbes’ recent article entitled “Some OTC Pain Relievers Can Increase Blood Pressure—And Most U.S. Adults Don’t Know, New Survey Finds.”

Of people with high blood pressure, about a third (38%) believe that over-the-counter pain relievers can increase blood pressure.

Just 14% of those with high blood pressure report self-measuring their blood pressure daily.

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is called the “silent killer” because of its lack of apparent symptoms.

It’s a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, like heart disease

It’s determined by consistent systolic readings over 130 mmHg and diastolic readings over 80 mmHg.

Hypertension is also a significant risk factor of both heart disease and stroke in the United States.

However, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can help to reduce high blood pressure.  Knowing how certain medications affect your body is one of them.

If you have high blood pressure and are looking for ways to bring your readings back into the normal range, start by speaking with your health care provider about potential drugs to avoid.

It can also help to monitor your blood pressure at home multiple times a day.

Watching your blood pressure keeps you aware of blood pressure fluctuations and can show how lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress and sleep, may be linked to its elevation.