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BP drug Hydrochlorothiazide raises skin cancer risk

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Scientists are advising that patients of blood pressure should consult their doctors to take some other drug to control BP.

Use of medicines for controlling blood pressure is highly recommended by doctors across the world but there is now a new worry that the consumption of one such drug can also lead to severe and life threatening diseases such as skin cancer. The scientists have stressed use of other drugs for BP control.

A recent study, led by Prof Anton Pottegard, Clinical Pharmacologist at University of Southern Denmark, has revealed that usage of hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) for controlling blood pressure raises the risk of developing skin cancer by seven times.

It may be noted that HCTZ is a common drug used worldwide. The research was conducted on 80,000 patients who had been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer. These patients were taking HCTZ and were compared with a group of 1.5 million healthy participants who also took HCTZ.

The study revealed that patients who took HCTZ were up to seven times more likely to develop skin cancer. The study revealed that HCTZ also raised the risk of both squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma - a less serious form of skin cancer.

It also highlighted that none of the other blood pressure controlling drugs was found linked to skin cancer risk. The scientists advised patients that it is not advisable to stop the drug without consulting the doctor. But patients should talk to doctors and seek different medicines for blood pressure control.

It is understood that skin cancer is rising in India and the world, posing a serious threat on human life. According to a data, In India, incidence of skin cancer is higher in men than in women.

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