There may be a link between salt-containing dissolvable paracetamol tablets and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, new research suggests

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A study published in the European Heart Journal has found a possible link between salt-containing dissolvable paracetamol tablets and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Effervescent and soluble formulations of paracetamol 0.5 g tablets can contain 0.44 g and 0.39 g of sodium, respectively. If a person took the maximum daily dose of two 0.5 g tablets every 6 hours, they would consume 3.5 g and 3.1 g of sodium, respectively—a dose that exceeds the total daily intake of 2 g recommended by the World Health Organization. Other formulations exist that contain an extremely small amount of sodium or none at all.

Among nearly 300,000 patients registered with UK GPs, the 1-year risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure for patients with hypertension taking sodium-containing paracetamol was 5.6% compared to 4.6% among those taking non-sodium-containing paracetamol. Mortality rates at 1 year were 7.6% versus 6.1%, respectively.

There was a similar increased risk among patients without hypertension, where the 1-year CVD risk was 4.4% in participants taking sodium-containing formulations versus 3.7% in those taking non-sodium-containing paracetamol. The mortality rates were 7.3% and 5.9%, respectively.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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