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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Soluble Analgesics

Following the recent withdrawal of Gaviscon from prescription and our investigations into the salt content of prescription items we were reminded of the salt content of soluble analgesics.

Some of these soluble analgesics contain 16.9 mmol of sodium per tablet. This is equivalent to 388.7mg of sodium or 970mg of salt.

A person taking 6 tablets a day would therefore have consumed almost the recommended daily amount of salt without any accounting for what they have eaten or drunk! A person taking 8 tablets a day consumes over 7g of salt per day from the tablets alone

Action: Where possible avoid prescribing soluble or effervescent analgesics that have a high sodium content. This should be especially the case in patients with cardiovascular disease, renal disease or hypertension.

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One Comment to “Soluble Analgesics”

  1. Sodium as a salt has different forms of presentation chemically speaking: Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3), Sodium Phosphate or Biphosphate (NaH2PO4) etc. In fact, the salt related to increases in arterial preasure has been the NaCl form, but no the other forms.
    Sometimes, old references give more light than the new ones.

    Ref: Kurtz et al. NEJM 1987; 317 (17):1043-8; Shore et al. J Hypert 1988; 6 (8):613-7; Husted et al. J Clin Invest 1975; 56:414-419.

    Comment by Candido — January 23, 2008 #

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