Many formulations of common drugs contain high levels of sodium, and a new study finds people who take those medications are 22 percent more likely to suffer a nonfatal stroke and 28 percent more likely to die of any cause than people on the same drugs without sodium.
Among study patients who took drugs with sodium, the median daily sodium dose from those medicines alone was 106.8 millimoles a day - more than the recommended daily maximum intake of 104 millimoles a day.
Medicines that come in powdered, effervescent, or soluble formulations tend to be high in sodium, and researchers made a list of 24 drugs available in such formulations. Among them were effervescent or soluble versions of acetaminophen and aspirin; metoclopramide, to soothe stomach ulcers and reflux; and calcium and zinc supplements.
They then combed through records to follow nearly 1.3 million patients for an average of seven years. Those who suffered a stroke, heart attack, or vascular death were, on average, 16 percent more likely to have taken high-sodium forms of the drugs than those who had no such outcome.