Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure?

If you have ever suffered from a terrible headache, only to find relief within hours after taking a pill, you'll likely agree that pain medications are a wonderful innovation. They can make certain diseases more tolerable, and alleviate distress from backache, muscle aches, and period cramps, among other pains (per theĀ Cleveland Clinic). That being said, medications can sometimes have unwanted long-term effects. For example, most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase a person's risk of stroke or heart attack, especially if the person is already high-risk and takes high doses.

One reason for this may be the increase in blood pressure seen in some people who take certain NSAIDs. For example, randomized controlled trials have found that at a rate of 2.9% compared to 1%, patients who take ibuprofen are nearly 3 times more likely to develop hypertension compared to those who do not (per American Family Physician).

The good news is that not all NSAIDs increase a person's risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Aspirin has none of these side effects. In fact, research suggests it may just do the opposite.

Aspirin may not be detrimental to blood pressure

Studies suggest that when taken under a doctor's guidance, low-dose aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attacks among people who have heart disease. It can even reduce the impact of a heart attack that has already begun, according to theĀ Harvard Medical School.

As for blood pressure, the evidence is less clear. Trials suggest it may lower blood pressure, but some researchers argue that these studies may be biased (per Current Hypertension Reports). However, even these researchers concede that aspirin reduces the risk of cardiovascular events, which is good because people with hypertension are at particularly high risk of heart problems. Moreover, the American Academy of Family Physicians notes that aspirin at the very least does not increase blood pressure, so people with hypertension may find it to be a good alternative to other NSAIDs. Whether or not aspirin will actively help your blood pressure, it almost certainly won't hurt, which is more than can be said for many other pain medications.