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Fibromyalgia High Blood Pressure Concerns?
By Jane Thompson
For some patients with fibromyalgia, high blood pressure concerns are being raised. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in February 2007 showed that common pain medications may increase the risk of high blood pressure in men. These medications include acetaminophen, aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The gloomy news for fibromyalgia patients is that these medications are also commonly prescribed to those suffering with this painful, debilitating condition.
The study in question involved 16,031 men, all health professionals with an average age of 64.6 years. In 2000 at the beginning of the study, they all did not have a history of hypertension. During the two years that followed, they began taking pain medications. Four years later during a follow-up, more than 1,900 of those involved in the study had developed high blood pressure.
The study further showed that those who took acetaminophen for at least six days out of a week increased the high blood pressure risk to 34%, while those who took aspirin with the same frequency increased theirs to 26%. The men who took NSAIDs increased their high blood pressure risk to 38%.
According to the researchers, their data support the hypothesis that analgesics can increase the risk of high blood pressure even when taken independently. This places fibromyalgia patients in a tricky position, considering that the first line of defense against the disorder is often pain relievers.
Is your fibromyalgia medication putting you at risk for high blood pressure?
It is an accepted fact that every medication has at least one side effect, which can vary in severity depending on the patient. Some medications, specifically NSAIDs, can cause a problem when taken with drugs for blood pressure that contain ACE inhibitors. With medications commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases and it doesn’t stop with analgesics.
SSRIs and some anti-depressant medications prescribed for fibromyalgia may also lead
to high blood pressure, often as a result of complications or side effects. COX-II inhibitors are another type of fibromyalgia drug used to fight inflammation. It's especially effective when joint swelling and muscle pain are present. COX-II inhibitors block COX-II enzymes that regulate the production of substances called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are produced by the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme and are responsible for the promotion of the inflammatory reaction within the body. When prostaglandins are blocked as a result of the action of COX-II inhibitors, pain and swelling are stopped. The only problem is that COX-II inhibitors have side effects that include high blood pressure.
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The consequence of living pain-free
Despite the extreme discomfort and pain it causes, fibromyalgia is not a degenerative disease, nor is it a fatal disorder. However, it is a chronic ailment that produces pain and fatigue that can last for months or even years, so it's not uncommon to see fibromyalgia patients taking medications regularly for long periods of time.
Drugs used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms have had varying degrees of success, but the main challenge for many patients at risk of developing hypertension is how to manage fibromyalgia high blood pressure symptoms simultaneously. This makes it even more important that patients educate themselves about potential risks and benefits of any treatment they consider, and take a proactive role in the management of their disorder.
Article Source: http://www.NewArticlesOnline.com
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