Ibuprofen-containing painkillers could cause a fatal potassium deficiency, researchers at three hospitals in Perth and Sydney are reporting.
They arrived at this conclusion following a case-series review of four patients. They arrived at the emergency department with symptoms including lethargy, muscle weakness and evolving paralysis.
All patients had a history of long-tern use of ibuprofen and were diagnosed with hypokalemia, which causes abnormal heart rhythms, the breakdown of muscle fibres, fatigue, muscle weakness, spasms, and paralysis.
The details of the cases are published in the Medical Journal of Australia.