Alka Seltzer, Other Soluble Drugs with Sodium May Pose Heart Risks: Study

Taking effervescent and soluble medicines, such as Alka Seltzer and other high-sodium drugs, could increase the risk of heart problems, according to the findings of new research.  

In a study published in the British Medical Journal on November 26, researchers found that use of so-called “fizzy” medications containing high levels of sodium increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

Researchers looked at data on 1,292,237 patients from 1987 to 2010, finding more than 61,000 who had cardiovascular incidents. They found that, overall, patients taking dispersible and soluble versions of drugs, typically products that are dropped in water to dissolve and bubble before being consumed, had a 16% increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

The primary event associated with effervescent and soluble medicines was a 22% increased risk of stroke. However, researchers also found that the risk of high blood pressure increased by a factor of seven, and there was a 28% higher rate of death among soluble medication users.

The sodium content was identified by researchers as the likely cause of these increases. They warned that the content was so high in some cases that someone taking the maximum recommended dosage for one day would exceed their daily recommended limit for sodium; and that was without factoring sodium from eating.

“Our results suggest that physicians should prescribe sodium-containing formulations with caution and only if there are compelling reasons to do so,” the researchers concluded. “Sodium loaded effervescent, soluble, or dispersible tablets should be avoided in patients at risk of hypertension, and patients prescribed these drugs should be carefully monitored for the emergence of hypertension.”

The researchers note that while they only had data on prescribed medications, they believe that the same risks apply to over-the-counter drugs like Alka Seltzer. They note that pharmaceutical companies are not under the same sodium reporting requirements as food manufacturers, and said that should probably change. The researchers said that over-the-counter effervescent medications, particularly those whose therapeutic effects might be questionable, should undergo a risk-benefit analysis.

“We believe that our findings are potentially of public health importance,” the researchers noted in their conclusions. “The sodium content of medicines seems to be an important topic that needs to be dealt with by regulatory agencies. As a minimum, the public should be warned about the potential hazards of high sodium consumption in prescribed medicines, and these should be clearly labelled with the sodium content in the same way as foods are labeled.”

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal
BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal (Posted yesterday)

A BioZorb lawsuit has been filed by several breast cancer survivors after the BioZorb implants moved out of place and failed to dissolve int he body, requiring surgical removal.

Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October
Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October (Posted yesterday)

A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled a fairness hearing for October in order to determine whether final approval should be granted to a $25 million Philips CPAP recall settlement agreement, which would pay former users $25 million to pay for future medical monitoring needs.

Abbott Laboratories Faces Jury Trial Over Claims Similac Caused NEC For Premature Infant
Abbott Laboratories Faces Jury Trial Over Claims Similac Caused NEC For Premature Infant (Posted 2 days ago)

Following a $60 million verdict in a similar lawsuit earlier this year, trial is underway involving claims brought by an Illinois mother, whose premature daughter developed NEC from Similac, alleging that Abbott failed to warn parents and medical staff of the devastating risks associated with the cow's milk-based formula.