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Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Raise Blood Pressure

Q. My orthopedic doctor did not warn me that the anti-inflammatory drug he prescribed might raise my blood pressure. When it spiked to 172/92 I got scared. The doctor did not respond to my complaints and a pharmacist said it was not a side effect of the medicine.

When I stopped the NSAID my blood pressure returned to normal (122/70). Can you relieve pain and inflammation without raising blood pressure?

A. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen or prescription drugs such as Celebrex, Mobic or Voltaren can raise blood pressure. Even acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and many other pain relievers) is linked to hypertension (Archives of Internal Medicine, Feb. 26, 2007).

Our Guides to Alternatives for Arthritis and Blood Pressure Treatment offer many ways to control pain and lower blood pressure. Herbs and topical NSAIDs are less likely to cause harm.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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