Researchers reported in the journal Hypertension

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

People's Pharmacy

November 11, 2005|By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON

I was surprised to hear that taking acetaminophen daily might lead to elevated blood pressure. Even though I eat a low-fat, vegetarian diet, I am stuck with the family curse - high blood pressure. I take extra-strength pain relievers containing acetaminophen several times a week.

Researchers reported in the journal Hypertension (September 2005) that women who regularly rely on more than 500 milligrams of acetaminophen daily almost doubled their risk of developing high blood pressure. Although aspirin was not implicated, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen were associated with higher blood pressure in this study.

The investigators concluded, "Because acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used, they may contribute to the high prevalence of hypertension in the United States."

Men may be less susceptible, however. A large study of male doctors found no connection between pain-reliever use and high blood pressure (Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept. 12, 2005).

I've heard that there are three new drugs for macular degeneration. What are they?

The medicines are Macugen, Lucentis and Avastin. Ask your retinal specialist whether any of these would be appropriate for you.

What ingredient in toothpaste causes canker sores?

There are reports that the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate may trigger canker sores in some susceptible individuals.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them via their Web site: peoplespharmacy.org.

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