Paracetamol is a medicine that we can find in the medicine cabinet of any home. This medicine is one of the most used analgesics since it acts against pain of moderate intensity, fever and some of the symptoms that appear in colds and flu. However, like any other drug, paracetamol cannot be used for all types of conditions since it could be contraindicated for some types of diseases and therefore its consumption could aggravate said medical condition.
To avoid improper use of this medication, it is important to know what its main contraindications and side effects are.
What is paracetamol and what is it used for?
As we have anticipated, paracetamol is one of the most used drugs in homes that has analgesic and antipyretic active ingredients . For this reason, this medicine is especially indicated for the treatment of pain of moderate intensity, such as those suffered in the postoperative period and after childbirth. It is also used to relieve rheumatic pain, sciatica, headaches, muscle pain, and pain in the lower abdomen during menstruation. In addition to these uses, paracetamol is also indicated to relieve some symptoms of the flu and colds, such as fever.
However, like any other drug treatment, paracetamol may not be suitable for everyone. In the case of this medicine, it should never be consumed in two main circumstances:
- If you are allergic to paracetamol or some of its main compounds such as stearic acid, crospovidone and magnesium stearate, among others.
- If you suffer from any disease related to the liver.
It is also important that before taking this treatment you consult your doctor in the following cases:
- If you suffer from any disease related to the kidney or heart.
- If you suffer from anemia (lack of iron).
- If you are a chronic alcoholic.
- In children and adolescents under 15 years of age.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What is blood pressure
Before answering the question of whether paracetamol raises blood pressure or not, it is important to know what blood pressure is. Blood pressure are the values that the force exerted by the blood flow itself on the walls of the arteries when it is pumped by the heart.
The tension is measured by means of a stethoscope accompanied by a bracelet that will exert pressure on one of the arms, which will show two main values: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Although there is no exact figure, values that are approximately 120/80 mmHg are generally considered normal. If the measurements obtained are not close to normal, the blood pressure is classified into 4 categories :
- Hypotension: blood pressure is below approximately 100/60 mmHg.
- Prehypertension: the values obtained are slightly above normal (either around 130 mmHg or between 85-89 mmHg).
- Type 1 hypertension: the values are above what is healthy (between 140-159 mmHg systolic and more than 90 mmHg diastolic).
- Type 2 hypertension: blood pressure is approximately 160/100 mmHg.
Does paracetamol raise blood pressure or not? – here the answer
For those wondering if acetaminophen raises blood pressure, according to the MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia, the answer is Yes, acetaminophen can raise blood pressure and thus can aggravate cases of hypertension. Paracetamol, being a medication within the group of analgesics, can cause fluid retention, which consequently causes kidney problems and an increase in blood pressure.
For this reason, although it is an analgesic that can be purchased without a prescription, it is important that you do not consume it without first consulting your GP.
In addition to paracetamol, according to the Mayo Clinic there are also other medications and supplements that can alter your blood pressure :
- Other analgesics and anti-inflammatories: non-steroidal drugs, ibuprofen, indocin and piroxicam.
- Antidepressants: venlafaxine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and fluoxetine.
- Hormonal contraceptives: birth control pills, patches and vaginal rings among others.
- Antiflu: pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.
- Immunosuppressants: cyclosporine and tacrolimus.
- Herbal supplements: arnica, bitter orange, ginseng, guarana, St. John's wort, licorice and ephedra.