Do effervescent tablets harm health? (Painkillers, dietary supplements etc) your conclusions

16/02/2020

Effervescent medicines or supplements may undermine the health of those taking such tablets every day because they contain too much salt (and therefore sodium), a new study by British researchers suggests.

The study was based on a data analysis of 1.3 million patients and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

As the researchers write, some effervescent tablets of medicines (eg aspirin) or dietary supplements provide more sodium than the recommended daily intake when taken at maximum dose.

The salt is present in effervescent tablets because they contain a bicarbonate that is often combined with sodium (the main constituent of the salt) to foam and dissolve in water.

How much salt the effervescent tablets contain

In addition to effervescent medication tablets (mainly painkillers), researchers also looked at nutritional supplements, such as those containing vitamin C, zinc or calcium. In total, the study included 24 different effervescent drugs and dietary supplements, which are usually taken without a prescription.

Sodium in the formulations analyzed ranges from 69-414 mg per tablet when the maximum recommended amount of sodium for hypertension in an adult without hypertension is approximately 2,400 mg and in an adult with hypertension is 1,500 mg. So, one who takes 4 effervescent tablets daily can consume more than 1,500 mg of sodium, which is the recommended amount for hypertensive people.

A study by British scientists found that systematically taking effervescent tablets such as paracetamol, acetylsalicylic acid (present in aspirin) and ibuprofen were associated with an increased risk of stroke and stroke. Those who took the effervescent medication were 16% more likely to develop a serious cardiovascular problem and 28% to die prematurely of any cause. These results are of course alarming.

The risk is due to sodium

Researchers say the root of the problem is the increase in blood pressure caused by the high salt content of effervescent tablets. In particular, the risk of hypertension is sevenfold.

However, scientists point out that the problem is with people who take such medicines every day rather than those who take them sporadically. In addition, the increase in risk was observed four years after systemic initiation.

"We were surprised by the amount of sodium present in some effervescent tablets," said lead researcher Thomas MacDonald, professor of pharmacology at Dundee University. "We can see the sodium content in food, but we do not control it when taking medicines. If one has to take medicines or dietary supplements daily it is best to take the normal forms and not the effervescent ones. "

Note, however, that many medicines or other preparations indicate in the package leaflet the sodium content or whether they are suitable for patients with hypertension.

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