Painkillers, heartburn medications and more could trigger heart failure

Ibuprofen, cold and flu remedies and indigestion pills could worsen heart failure, experts have warned. The American Heart Association has

Ibuprofen, cold and flu remedies and indigestion pills could worsen heart failure, experts have warned.

The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement today, warning about the unintended consequences of people with weak hearts who regularly take every-day drugs. It urges doctors to check all patients’ medications thoroughly to ensure they aren’t inadvertently putting their lives at risk. The organisation is one of the largest and most influential in the world and its recommendations will be closely heeded by medical professionals all around the world.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is too weak to pump blood around the body, causing extreme tiredness, breathlessness and swelling of the legs. It usually develops in patients who have previously suffered a heart attack or stroke, and symptoms tend to deteriorate with time. But AHA experts are concerned that some common medications cause the body to store excess fluid and salt, which means the heart has to work harder.

Associate Professor Robert Page, from the University of Colorado and chair of the writing committee for the new statement, said: “Patients have been taught to read food labels for sodium content, but they also need to read labels on over-the-counter medications and natural supplements.” He added, “Keep a list of all your medications and doses to show at every medical visit, and inform a healthcare provider treating your heart failure before stopping or starting any medication.”


The statement said non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including commonly used painkillers such as ibuprofen (found in Nurofen cold and flu relief), can prompt heart failure by causing the retention of sodium and fluids. This in turn makes medicines that are used to treat blood pressure ineffective.Over-the counter heartburn medications and cold remedies may also contain undesirable amounts of sodium, the statement said. Patients with heart failure are also being urged to avoid green tea, grapefruit juice, liquorice and some herbs as this may also weaken the heart.

Dr Mariell Jessup, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US and member of the American Heart Association said: “There’s a wide variety of people who should be aware these aren’t harmless drugs. The most important thing is that heart failure patients monitor themselves every morning. We ask them to weigh themselves every day and be aware that food and other substances can cause them to hold on to salt and water.”

Patients should also steer clear of natural remedies such as liquorice, St John’s Wort and ginseng, particularly if their symptoms worsen. Today’s statement reminds doctors not to prescribe a wide range of pills for blood pressure, depression, arthritis and certain other conditions, which are already known to aggravate the heart.

Share your thoughts below.

  1. With changing lifestyle and busy schedule everyone using chemical drugs and antibiotics that putting their life at more risk. That is the reason everyone should try natural treatment as remedy or medicine like “Acidgone®” first as by using it, their health will not be effected by bad side effects.

  2. Hans  

    Many of our clients suffer from dehydration!
    Dehydration negatively affects organs and bodily functions, including the heart and cardiovascular system. People actually walk around in town with their 600 ml bottle of water. They cart that around with them where ever they go. The only thing they don’t do is drink it. They take a swig once in a while, but for the rest it has merely become a fashion symbol, like the back to front cap and the sunnies perched on top of the head.
    By the way, have you checked out what shops in town are charging for a 600 ml. of water? One deli charged $3.30, which makes it $5.50 a liter, and that is about 4 times the price of petrol.
    Crazy world isn’t it?………Fancy paying that much for water.
    We normally need about 2 liters a day, but stress, coffee, tea and sugary soft and sports drink increases that need to about 2 to 3 liters. These liquids do not hydrate! In fact they dehydrate through the stress they cause. Both coffee and tea are stimulants, and being stimulated you need more water. Soft drink contains large amounts of sugar which needs to be digested, .and food colouring which instigates an immune reaction. More stress! This means the uptake of fluids could take as long as 2 hours.
    Do you heart a favour! Start the day with 1 or 2 glasses of water. Don’t do dairy! It has been implicated as a causal factor in numerous diseases. Use soy, rice or almond milk instead. Drink another glass of water when arriving at work. the stress of driving through traffic to work would have increased the need for more water.
    Do not do chlorine. It is a dangerous poison and it too has been implicated in numerous diseases.

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