PAINKILLING tablets which have to be dissolved in water may be dangerous for people with chronic heart problems, because of their high salt content, according to a report from Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne.

It describes in The Pharmaceutical Journal the case of two elderly women patients, both with long histories of chronic heart failure, who took effervescent analgesics to ease osteoarthritis and hip pain. Both were admitted to hospital with heart failure. The painkillers were stopped and they were given drug treatment to help them recover.

The sodium content of soluble paracetamol or codeine tablets makes them unsuitable for patients with chronic heart failure, the report concludes.