A link between a common medicine and stroke

Created date

May 15th, 2019
white pills, representing Acetaminophen, are scattered against a blue background

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that older adults, especially people with diabetes, may have a good reason to use acetaminophen with caution.

Results of a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that older adults, especially people with diabetes, may have a good reason to use acetaminophen with caution.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is one of the most commonly used medicines in many countries. It is generally considered safe to use. Seniors need to be careful, however, with any medication because age-related body changes, along with taking several medicines for multiple chronic conditions, can place a burden on bodily organs and systems that help to process drugs.

In this study, researchers followed over 5,000 patients with an average age of 86 who were living in long-term care facilities. More than 2,000 participants were using acetaminophen and about 3,000 were not. One goal of the study was to determine if there was an association between acetaminophen and heart attacks, strokes, or deaths. When the data was analyzed, the researchers were able to rule out any association between acetaminophen and heart attacks or deaths.

In addition, the rate of strokes was essentially the same in both groups with one exception: people with diabetes had a slightly increased risk of stroke compared to other patients. The researchers do not know why, but they concluded that while acetaminophen remains generally safe for most older adults, people with diabetes should check with their doctors before using acetaminophen.

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