PAracetamol Treatment in Hypertension: Effect on Blood Pressure Study

The PATH-BP Study is funded by a £140,000 grant from the British Heart Foundation. The study is based at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, and the chief investigator is Professor David Webb, Professor of Therapeutics at The University of Edinburgh, and Director of Edinburgh’s European Society of Hypertension Excellence Centre.


Hypertension (high blood pressure) is very common in the UK, affecting 1 in 4 adults. It is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, which can result in death and serious disability. Anti-inflammatory pain-relieving drugs can increase blood pressure and, because of this, paracetamol (another pain relieving drug) is often suggested as an alternative. However, there is now some evidence that paracetamol may also increase blood pressure.

The PATH-BP study is designed to determine the effect of two weeks of paracetamol on blood pressure in patients with hypertension. We will compare the effects of paracetamol on blood pressure with that of a dummy tablet (placebo).

Study Design

We plan to recruit 100 patients with either treated or untreated hypertension. Each patient will then take 2 weeks of paracetamol and 2 weeks of placebo in a random order, with blood pressure being checked at the beginning and end of each 2-week period. This study will help people with high blood pressure and their doctors understand better the safety of using paracetamol as a treatment for chronic pain.

The study will recruit participants from hospital, through hypertension clinics at the Royal Infirmary and Western General Hospital, the ambulatory blood pressure service and general practices within NHS Lothian, with help from the Scottish Primary Care Research Network (SPCRN).

Further information

If you would like to receive further information regarding the study or are interested in taking part, please contact Ms Vanessa Melville, Clinical Research Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. Tel. 0131 537 2008. Email


The PATH-BP study is funded by the British Heart Foundation.

British Heart Foundation The University of Edinburgh NHS Lothian