Summary: Many fizzy painkillers are available as over-the-counter painkillers. The body absorbs them quickly, resulting in fast chronic pain treatment. People love these painkillers. However, now the study shows that fizzy painkillers might harm your heart. These fizzy painkillers contain a lot of sodium, thus increasing the risk of heart disease. It means that the increased risk of heart attack or stroke due to frequent use of fizzy painkillers is both due to their active ingredients and high sodium content. These findings are relevant, considering that people are even using fizzy vitamins.
People prefer fizzy painkillers like fizzy acetaminophen tablets. This is because they are easy to use and work quickly. Moreover, acetaminophen is among the most effective painkillers and is also suitable for treating colds and flu and reducing fever. Unfortunately, acetaminophen is among the safest painkillers, including cluster headache relief. However, its overuse may have many harms.
Fizzy tablets containing acetaminophen are widely used, and many people form a habit of using these tablets for every minor issue. They may even start taking these tablets even if they think they might have some problems or feel tired. Unfortunately, it is this abuse that may cause much harm.
Acetaminophen overuse is not suitable for the liver and kidneys. It is an over-the-counter medication since its infrequent use does not harm your health. However, using it too frequently is altogether another thing.
But there is an even more significant reason why it may harm your health. It appears that fizzy tablets contain a lot of sodium. Sodium is an excipient in these tablets. Sodium salt makes it fizzy, readily dissolvable, and fast absorbing.
Generally, one may safely take two of these tablets simultaneously for chronic pain treatment, and one may even use these tablets 3-4 times a day. This is because they work quite well to provide symptomatic relief in various painful conditions including cluster headaches. However, researchers warn that each tablet of fizzy painkillers contains more than 400 milligrams of sodium.
Many studies show that excessive sodium intake is among the leading causes of cardiovascular ailments and related preventable deaths. Studies suggest that people are already consuming too much sodium via diet. They are consuming table salt excessively.
Though people realize the health risks of excessive salt intake, they often fail to consider the so-called hidden sodium sources. Fizzy painkillers are among such hidden sodium sources for those who use these painkillers frequently.
In a new study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers analyzed the health records of 300,000 people. They were surprised to find that those who frequently used fizzy painkillers were 45% more likely to have a heart attack. Furthermore, they found that this increase in the risk of heart issues depended on how often they took these fizzy tablets. Thus, the study could establish the relationship between the frequent use of these painkillers and heart attack risk.
As the researchers noted that each year millions of people take these fizzy painkillers worldwide to get relief from conditions like chronic pain and cluster headache. Thus it is among the significant contributors to the risk of heart disease, something that cannot be neglected.
Here it is vital to note that the increase in heart disease risk is mainly due to the high sodium content in fizzy tablets. However, these days more and more people are taking different kinds of effervescent tablets containing ibuprofen, aspirin, and even vitamins. But unfortunately, all these tablets are pretty high in sodium.
Of course, things are made further worse due to the toxicity of acetaminophen. New studies suggest that acetaminophen can increase blood pressure risk and may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. These are relatively new findings, as earlier doctors did not know that acetaminophen may be bad for the heart. Researchers further noticed that most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase this risk of cardiovascular ailments.
Acetaminophen is among the most widely used over-the-counter painkillers in the world. It is the main component in medications like Tylenol, Panadol, Excedrin, and many other pain medications. Unfortunately, though it is a good painkiller, people often use it for conditions in which it may not essentially help.
Hence, abusing acetaminophen and fizzy painkillers may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MBA, MHP