Researchers Correlate Increased Heart Risk to High-Sodium Medicines

Researchers at the University of Dundee and University College London found that taking the maximum daily dose of some medicines would exceed the recommended daily limits for sodium, without any additional dietary intake and potentially become an added risk factor for heart disease. They say the public “should be warned about the potential dangers of high sodium intake from prescribed medicines” and that sodium-containing formulations “should be prescribed with caution only if the perceived benefits outweigh the risks.” According to the researchers, many commonly prescribed medicines have sodium added to improve their absorption into the body. They also call for the sodium content of medicines to be clearly labeled in the same way as foods are labeled. Overall, the researchers found that patients taking the sodium-containing effervescent, dispersible and soluble medications had a 16% increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or vascular death compared with other patients taking the non-sodium versions of those exact medications, the researchers noted. Patients taking the sodium-containing drugs also were seven times more likely to develop high blood pressure, and overall death rates also were 28% higher in this group. (Source: The Generic Drug Weekly Report, DSN)