Warning over high salt levels in common medicines

27 November 2013        

Category: Research

Soluble asprin

Thousands of patients taking effervescent and soluble medicines containing sodium are at greater cardiovascular risk than patients taking non-fizzing versions of the same drugs, a study has found.

In a study of over 1.2 million UK patients, those prescribed medicines containing sodium had a 16 per cent increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. Researchers found that taking the maximum daily dose of some medicines would actually exceed the UK recommended daily sodium limits.

If you are currently prescribed drugs containing sodium, it’s important not to simply stop taking your dose.


Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said:

“We know that too much salt is linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. What is interesting about this study is the suggestion that some prescribed medicines containing sodium may also raise your cardiovascular risk.

“It’s important to remember that this research applies to people who are taking these medicines regularly – this does not mean that occasional use could damage your heart health. To give us an idea of whether these risks translate for medicines bought over the counter, we would need to see further research focusing on non-prescription medication.

“This is an important reminder for doctors and patients to carefully consider the risks and benefits of soluble or effervescent medicines at the time of prescription. If you are currently prescribed drugs containing sodium, it’s important not to simply stop taking your dose – make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any concerns.”