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Blood Pressure Pills Linked to Lip Cancer

Blood Pressure Pills Linked to Lip Cancer

Commonly prescribed blood pressure medications can sensitize the skin to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The diuretic hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ is found in dozens of blood pressure pills. A new study suggests that this drug as well as another antihypertensive medication called nifedipine may increase the risk of lip cancer. Such photosensitizing drugs absorb ultraviolet energy and increase the likelihood of cellular damage. Previous research has shown that these medications may predispose people to squamous cell skin cancer. People taking diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide should be especially careful to protect their skin and lips from ultraviolet sun exposure.

[Archives of Internal Medicine, online, Aug., 2012]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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