If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), everyday painkillers such as ibuprofen could be to blame. These, and many other over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, cause hypertension, yet doctors almost never make the connection. “Patients often assume that because a medication can be obtained without a prescription, it’s relatively harmless. But that’s not always the case,” says Prof Ehud Grossman of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Worse, doctors seem to be equally as ignorant of the drugs’ dangers.
Many drugs cause hypertension, says Prof Grossman. As well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and painkillers, contraceptive pills, antibiotics and antidepressants all directly cause blood pressure to rise. The usual result is more drugs, a prescription for an antihypertensive.