Monday, August 15, 2005

OTC Pain Killers Raise Blood Pressure in Women

This study confirms anecdotal evidence in my own life. I'll tell you about it in a minute, but if you don't get to that part please read this article!

My second post-pregnancy (partum) recovery disturbed me. At the end of my pregnancies, I tend to begin to retain water and the medications I was taking to stop contractions and keep my kid in also were very hard on my cardiovascular system. In short, I was retaining water and my heart struggled to keep up with the increased fluid volume. Fluid started to seep into my tissues and my lungs grew congestive.

This problem should clear up with the dramatic fluid loss after giving birth, but for me it did not. My blood pressure remained uncomfortably high and I was still swollen.

GROSS OUT WARNING (don't read further if you're faint of heart). Because I had a pretty severe tear thanks to an errant elbow and lots of stitches, I needed pain medication. Pain medicines were not even in my house before this. Probably the most recent OTC pain med usage was years before in college taking a Midol to get through finals. That's it. So, I was hardly a regular user. Mr. Dr. Melissa had to go buy Tylenol (acetominophin) and some Ibuprofin so we could see what worked.

I started swelling WORSE. My blood pressure rose. As soon as I discontinued the pain med it seemed that my body dumped water and all went back to normal. But it scared me.

Long story long, pain medication (and not even just chronic use of it--short term use too) can cause dramatic increases in blood pressure.

More blogs about the woodlands rita.