Long-term use of paracetamol poses a small increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a review of eight studies.
This means doctors should consider advising their patients on alternatives for long-term treatment, says researcher Professor Philip Conaghan of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine.
His team analysed several studies relating to the use of paracetamol and published their results in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Two studies found a correlation between an increased relative rate of mortality from 0.95 to 1.63 and increasing doses of paracetamol.
Four showed a link between paracetamol use and an increased risk ratio of cardiovascular problems, while another found an increased rate of gastrointestinal issues in those taking large doses of the painkiller.
Another four studies on renal adverse events also found a connection.
“People should be careful when taking it long-term and doctors should consider carefully what other drugs they can recommend to their patients,” Prof Conaghan says.
In response to the study findings, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) confirmed that over-the-counter paracetamol is for short term use.
Republished from 6Minutes with permission.
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