We have heard ibuprofen referred to as vitamin I. That’s because a lot of weekend warriors rely on ibuprofen and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve inflammation and pain. Naproxen is also a favorite of hikers, golfers, bikers and tennis players. Many people with arthritis also rely on prescription-strength drugs like celecoxib, diclofenac and meloxicam. What many people do not realize is that ibuprofen side effects can be serious. Other NSAIDs pose similar risks.
Q. I was prescribed high-dose ibuprofen for a knee injury. Two months later, I went to a new primary doctor. My blood pressure was 188/100. It is normally 120/70. Does ibuprofen raise blood pressure?
A. Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can in fact raise blood pressure (BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, Oct. 24, 2012).
Other Readers Report Problems with NSAIDs:
Beth experienced hypertension and A-fib with diclofenac:
“I know what happened to me when a doctor prescribed Diclofenic for me. Without even an examination, he gave this drug and within 5 days, I became dizzy and suffered palpitations.
“The day before I was due to go on a holiday warning signs became evident andI had to go to accident and emergency where I was seen by a doctor who said various tests would have to be carried out. I was told no flying.
“My blood pressure (normally 128/90) was 190/60. I had an E.C.G., ECHO CARDIOGRAM AND CAROTID SCAN. ALL CLEAR. It was down to NADIDs, however a 24hr heart monitor picked up abnormal beats. I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and I am now on anticoagulants.
“I will never return to that group of drugs.”
Many people may not realizer that their NSAID has led to an increase in blood pressure.
Linda in Portland, Oregon shared this story:
“I have been on meloxicam for about four years now and have not had any problems with it. Recently I have had some dizziness and was concerned so took my blood pressure (I am a retired nurse practitioner). I was very shocked to find that my BP was about 160/100, so immediately started eating better and exercising.
“It didn’t occur to me until today that meloxicam may be playing a part. I will discontinue it (I’m taking it for knee pain) and consider taking an alternative if the knee pain is too difficult. I am glad that I found this website as I had formerly been assured that meloxicam had few side effects. I will also watch my BP and if it doesn’t come down will make an appointment with my MD.”
What Happens when Ibuprofen Side Effects include Hypertension?
Many health professionals may not link a patient’s elevated blood pressure to their use of an NSAID. Yet ibuprofen side effects include hypertension, irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), congestive heart failure, indigestion, perforated ulcers, kidney damage, kidney disease, liver damage and allergic reactions.
It would be a shame to start taking blood pressure medicine to counteract ibuprofen side effects. The person who asked the question at the top of the page may want to consider a different way to dealing with kneed pain.
What About Topical NSAIDs?
A topical NSAID such as Voltaren Gel or Pennsaid Topical Solution might be one approach. This requires a conversation with a physician as such drugs are only available by prescription in the U.S. Our new guide discusses this option in great detail. Or perhaps this person would benefit from an anti-inflammatory herbal medicine such as boswellia or curcumin or a home remedy like tart cherry juice or Knox Gelatin.
You can learn about all these options in our newly revised and expanded Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis, available online at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. This 53-page guide has links to scientific support for non drug approaches. We also provide videos so you can see exactly how to make recipes for arthritis remedies like gin-soaked raisins or Certo and grape juice. To make this brand new guide more affordable we have reduced the price. Act now to get Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis at an introductory discount.