Bookmark and Share RSS IconRSS

Feature Stories by Date

Feature Story

Health Center Today, October 22, 2010

Acetaminophen: Threat to Blood Pressure Stability?

By Chris DeFrancesco

Photo of William White, M.D.

Dr. William White is lead author of an editorial accompanying a study in the journal Circulation about the effects of acetaminophen on blood pressure.

Research to be published in the journal Circulation suggests the drug acetaminophen can cause a significant increase in blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease.

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer sold under many brand names, including Tylenol.

“Historically, Tylenol, or acetaminophen, has been preferred over ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—celecoxib, ibuprofen or naproxen—for patients who have heart problems,” says Dr. William White, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Hypertension in the Calhoun Cardiology Center. “It is important to recognize that acetaminophen may not be quite as safe as it’s been thought to be, particularly at arthritis doses. In fact, we actually know much less about the cardiovascular effects of acetaminophen than we do about many other arthritis therapies.

The study, led by Swiss researchers, appears in the November 2 issue of Circulation, and is accompanied by an editorial written by White, who is president-elect of the American Society of Hypertension, and Dr. Patrick Campbell, a research physician in the Calhoun Cardiology Center.