Tel Aviv: Beware of painkillers - they could be spiking your blood pressure (BP) levels even without doctors suspecting the actual cause, a study reveals. Many common over-the-counter medications are underlying causes of hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and aneurisms, said Ehud Grossman, professor of medicine at the Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

Such drugs include contraceptive pills, various anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory pills to control pain and bacterial antibiotics, added Grossman, the American Journal of Medicine reported. Though high BP is a known side-effect of many of these drugs, doctors do not always account for them in their treatment plans, and they don't inform patients of their potential risks, according to a university statement.

While many medications can cause hypertension (high BP), both patients and doctors remain dangerously uninformed, "In diagnosing the causes of hypertension, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen are often overlooked," said Grossman. Patients often assume that because a medication can be obtained without a prescription, it's relatively harmless. But that's not always the case, concluded Grossman.