Is Tylenol Or Ibuprofen Worse For Your Kidneys
Unlike Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, the active ingredient in Tylenol does not cause damage to the kidneys. In fact, the National KidneyFoundation recommends acetaminophen as the pain reliever of choice for occasional use in patients who have underlying kidney disease.
Although NSAIDs are more likely to cause kidney issues, Ibuprofen can still be used as long as it is not taken in excess. Unless otherwise directed by your physician, you should be just fine using Ibuprofen for occasional pain relief.
Study Reveals Harmful Effects On Kidney Of Ibuprofen
The use and effect of ibuprofen, a common ingredient in many pain-relieving medications, among ultramarathon runners was studied by Stanford researchers in the department of emergency medicine, whose findings suggested high consumption increased risk of acute kidney disease and potentially kidney problems later in life.
The study, published in July 5, 2017, examined a cohort of long distance runners who took ibuprofen to deal with muscle pain and soreness. It found that these runners had doubled their risk of kidney problems compared to subjects who didnt consume as much ibuprofen.
Lipman explains that one of his driving points to conduct the study was to examine the effect of taking ibuprofen during an ultramarathon after noticing that over 75 percent of participants reported doing so. They then found a link between the ibuprofen and acute kidney injury.
We really wanted to see if there was causation , Lipman said. And we could only look at that through a head to head comparison of a sugar pill, or placebo, to ibuprofen.
Dr. Patrick Burns, a clinical instructor for Emergency Medicine and a co-author of the study, explains that the research drew upon established science correlating ibuprofen with increased levels of creatinine in the kidney. These increased levels can lead to acute kidney injury.
Newly Developed Fluid Retention
Ibuprofen sometimes causes newly developed fluid retention. This occurs primarily because the kidneys tend to retain extra salt and water under the influence of ibuprofen — although noticeable fluid retention is uncommon and the risk differs among people. Young people in good health who occasionally take ibuprofen for minor pain or an illness rarely develop symptoms of fluid retention, such as eye or finger puffiness, swelling of feet and ankles, or weight gain. However, people with heart, liver or kidney disease and those with high blood pressure are more likely to develop fluid-retention symptoms.
- Ibuprofen sometimes causes newly developed fluid retention.
- Young people in good health who occasionally take ibuprofen for minor pain or an illness rarely develop symptoms of fluid retention, such as eye or finger puffiness, swelling of feet and ankles, or weight gain.
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Is Ibuprofen Bad For Kidneys
Everyone experiences pain, and consequently, painkillers have become a part of everyday life. And although many people assume that over-the-counter pain relievers are safe because theyre easily accessible, abusing these medications can cause serious health problems down the line. Some common medications like ibuprofen and naproxen are known to even cause kidney problems. But how is ibuprofen bad for kidneys when so many people rely on this medication to manage pain? Keep reading to learn more about safe ibuprofen usage.
Be Careful About Using Over
If you take OTC or prescription medicines for headaches, pain, fever, or colds, you may be taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug . NSAIDs include popular pain relievers and cold medicines that can damage your kidneys if you take them for a long time, or lead to acute kidney injury if you take them when you are dehydrated or your blood pressure is low.
You also can look for NSAIDs on Drug Facts labels like the one below.
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Is Aspirin Safe For Regular Use
When taken as directed, regular use of aspirin does not seem to increase the risk of kidney disease in people who have normal kidney function. However, taking doses that are too large may temporarily- and possibly permanently- reduce kidney function. In people with kidney disease, aspirin may increase the tendency to bleed. People who already have reduced kidney function, or other health problems such as liver disease or severe heart failure, should not use aspirin without speaking to their doctor.
Taking Nsaid Pain Relievers For Granted:
If you come down with a headache or your back starts to hurt, the go-to drugs of choice are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Millions of people rely on pain relievers like celecoxib , diclofenac , ibuprofen , meloxicam and naproxen to get through the day.
We have heard from many people in pain that they cant manage without an NSAID. Here are just a couple of comments from readers:
Angela in Portland, Oregon relies on ibuprofen:
Advil is my go-to pain reliever. I only use it when its all that will work for me. I have tried through the years to find another pain reliever. If my pain is manageable I dont take anything. I only take it when I dont have a choice. I dont know what I would do without Advil.
Michelle in Marietta, Georgia, also depends on ibuprofen:
Ive been using 800 Motrin for as long as its been available. I remember seeing a Mayo Clinic TV Special and they used it as a first try against pain. It was their go to pain reliever. It ALWAYS helps my pain. After two shoulder surgeries I took two hydrocodone pills, then only 800 Motrin. The doctor couldnt believe I wasnt taking the hydrocodone. Same with my knee replacement.
Vaudi in Fayetteville, North Carolina, loves Celebrex:
Ive taken Celebrex for years. When I had back surgery a year ago, I had to stop Celebrex for 3 months. I could barely move. I couldnt wait till the day when my spinal neurosurgeon said I could take Celebrex again. At last I had a spring in my step and felt great.
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How Should You Think About Taking Nsaids In View Of The Possible Side Effects
Years ago, doctors thought of NSAIDs as being very safe. They still are acceptably safe for many people, but longer-term experience and medical studies have shown that there are definite risks. Think about these things before you start NSAIDs and consider them again if you are taking them for a while:
- Do you have risk factors for the side-effects of these medications? For example, do you have a prior history of ulcer, a known bleeding problem? Are you are higher-than-average cardiac risk, such as if you have had a heart attack, have high blood pressure or have diabetes. Older people have more GI and cardiovascular risk from NSAIDs.
- Have you been told of abnormal kidney function? NSAIDs can negatively affect kidney function.
- Will you be taking NSAIDs for a short or long time? Although heart issues have been described after short uses of NSAIDs, most of the time the problems come with prolonged use. There are situations where long-term use of NSAIDs is appropriate, but in many other situations the need for long-term NSAIDs calls for a discussion with your health care provider about possible alternatives.
Watch For Hidden Acetaminophen
Acetaminophen is found in many medications, particularly over-the-counter cold and flu preparations such as some types of NyQuil, DayQuil, Sudafed, Robitussin and Alka-Seltzer, to name only a few. Its also found in prescription pain relievers, in combination with opiates. These include Percocet, Norco and Vicodin. Its important to be aware of the ingredients in all of your medications, so you dont inadvertently take too much acetaminophen.Ask your doctor if you have any questions about whether a particular drug is safe to use, and understand why he or she might warn you about the dangers of taking acetaminophen.If you have concerns or questions about liver disease and pain, or any other aspect of this condition, the Swedish Liver Center can help. Call for an appointment.
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Regular Use Of Pain Medicines Doesn’t Damage Kidneys
July 17, 2001 — Aspirin and similar pain medicines are such a part of everyday life — about a quarter of U.S. adults use them weekly — that most of us assume they’re perfectly safe. But for years, doctors have cautioned that regular use of these drugs can cause major damage to your kidneys and cause bleeding in the stomach.
A new study gives us one less thing to worry about: Moderate use of over-the-counter pain relievers isn’t likely to lead to kidney problems, the researchers found. However, two doctors who reviewed the study for WebMD believe overuse of pain medicines, particularly over a long period of time, may still be harmful.
The study in July 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the use of nonprescription pain medicines such as aspirin, acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Advil, or Aleve in more than 11,000 healthy men over a 14-year period.
They found no increase in kidney problems among men who took an average of three or four pills a week The study didn’t look at other possible side effects of these drugs such as harm to the liver or gastrointestinal bleeding.
People in the U.S. tend to drink too little water, and that puts additional stress on the kidneys, Avram says. “When you look at elderly people who drink only a small amount of water, and also take lots of pain medicines, that’s a set-up for disaster.”
Kidney Damage From Naproxen:
Q. I am a 16-year-old girl who has had bladder problems since I was eight. I was taken to the hospital for pain in my left hip and the doctor prescribed two pills of naproxen to be taken twice daily.
I had pain in my stomach and back and couldnt sleep. Then my urinary system shut down completely. I had taken the drug for almost three weeks before another doctor took me off. I was in the hospital for seven weeks and was just released with no improvement.
I know the drug did this to me. Has anyone else had this severe reaction?
A. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen can harm the kidneys . A study of marathon runners found that those who took ibuprofen before the race to ward off muscle soreness were more likely to develop temporary kidney failure as a result .
Most health professionals probably assume that seemingly healthy people, especially young adults, could not suffer worrisome kidney damage from a prescription for naproxen or ibuprofen. A meta-analysis of five studies published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine suggests otherwise. The authors reported an increased relative risk of acute kidney injury ranging from 58% to 211% among NSAID users.
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Chinese/herbal Medicines And Vitamin Supplements
Chinese/herbal medicines and vitamin supplements have not usually been studied in people with kidney disease, so there is no way of knowing whether they are safe for you to use. Modern drugs go through rigorous tests of their effectiveness and purity. But some Chinese and herbal remedies have been found to contain substances that may cause kidney failure and cancer, while others contain substances that interfere with the effectiveness of your other medicines.
Key Points About Analgesic Nephropathy
- Long term use of pain killers can cause damage to the kidneys. This includes over-the-counter and prescription pills.
- This condition is most common in people older than 45 years of age, and more prevalent in women over 30.
- Often there are no symptoms. It may be found on routine blood or urine tests.
- Symptoms are related to the build-up of toxins and waste products that are normally filtered by the kidneys.
- Analgesic nephropathy can lead to acute kidney failure, cancer, or atherosclerosis in later stages.
Do Nsaids Cause Kidney Injury
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are medications that help to reduce inflammation. They also control pain and fever and are available over the counter and by prescription. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen , aspirin , and naproxen sodium . These drugs are typically safe if they are used infrequently, but for people with decreased kidney function or chronic kidney disease, they should be avoided.
Are NSAIDs safe to take?NSAIDs are typically safe to use. However, many patients are sensitive to the side effects of these medications, even with normal kidney function. If you have reduced kidney function or have a number of other medical conditions, you may be much more likely to have problems with taking these drugs.
NSAIDs can affect kidneys by several different mechanisms. They can cause high blood pressure and can also interact with some blood pressure drugs in a way that prevents them from working correctly such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and ARBs which are a group of drugs that are designed to relax blood vessels. NSAIDs may increase your fluid retention and can lead to decreased blood flow to kidneys. This is because NSAIDs block prostaglandins, which are the natural chemicals that dilate blood vessels and allow oxygen to reach the kidneys to keep them alive and healthy.
As the regional expert in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease, Ochsner offers a full range of nephrology services. Learn more here.
Side Effects Of Ibuprofen
Although ibuprofen is an OTC drug that can be taken without a prescription, it is still a strong medication with potentially harmful side effects even when not combining it with any other substances.
Common ibuprofen side effects include:4
Some less common side effects include:4
- Stomach inflammation
- Digestive ulcers
Anyone with kidney or liver problems, asthma, or other disorders should be extremely cautious in taking ibuprofen and then only when directed by a physician.
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Kidney Health Problems Linked To Ibuprofen Use
The widely used, non-prescription pain reliever ibuprofen is increasingly being linked to serious long-term health problems, including kidney failure, according to two new studies.
One report, a small study of 12 patients at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, found that one-quarter of those who took the drug developed acute kidney failure, that was reversed once the drug was stopped. The study will be published later this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
A second study of 554 adults by researchers at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences found that ibuprofen can cause kidney failure in individuals with other health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and pre-existing kidney problems. That report, which is the second part of a study published last spring in the New England Journal of Medicine, was presented in July at the Fourth International Nephrotoxicity Symposium in England.
Our concern is that if patients take this stuff for great lengths of time and not just in short bursts of therapy that they could wind up with kidney damage, said William L. Henrich, a kidney specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Higher doses of ibuprofen are available by prescription, and in September, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a liquid form of the drug, available only by prescription, for children under 12.
Physiology And Pathophysiology Of Cox Inhibition
PGs regulate a wide variety of renal functions . PGE2 is considered to be mainly a tubular PG and PGI2 a vascular PG. However, renal arterioles, tubules, medullary interstitial cells, and mesangial cells are able to produce both PGE2 and PGI2. PGE2 regulates sodium and chloride transport in the loop of Henle and modulates water transport and renal medullary blood flow. The physiological effects of PG2 are mediated through the four G-protein-coupled transmembrane prostaglandin receptors EP1, EP2, EP3 and EP4. PGI2 regulates renal vascular tone, GFR and renin release . In a person with normal renal hemodynamic parameters, PGs do not play a dominant physiologic role in maintaining renal blood flow and GFR . Selective COX-2 inhibitors were developed to produce the beneficial effects of NSAIDs, but spare the COX-1-mediated adverse events . However, COX-2 appears to be associated with renal vascular tissues and podocytes and has been implicated as the dominant COX at the macula densa and in the medullary interstitium. The identification of constitutive COX-2 in the human kidney , and the recognition of the profound effects of PGs on renal homeostasis may indicate that COX-2 inhibitors have the same potential for adverse renal effects as traditional NSAIDs . Therefore, the same precautions in patients at risk for adverse renal effects probably apply to both the nonselective NSAIDs and COX-2 selective inhibitors .
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Heart Attacks Strokes And Heart Failure:
There is growing recognition that NSAIDs can affect the cardiovascular system. Although most people do not understand heart failure very well , the outcomes can be disastrous. NSAIDs increase the risk of heart failure and if people have this condition NSAIDs can make it substantially worse .
An ongoing controversy in the medical community is whether some NSAIDs are more or less likely to cause heart attacks or strokes. Some studies suggest that naproxen may be a little less of a problem than some of the other pain relievers in this class. That said, the FDA has not given naproxen a green light in this matter. A study published in Current Vascular Pharmacology suggested the following:
The best safety profile related to MI was found for naproxen, while the worst safety profile, with excessively increased risk for stroke, MI and major bleeding, was for diclofenac. Naproxen showed higher risk for major bleeding than ibuprofen and the risk for stroke was slightly higher than ibuprofen. Regarding heart failure, ibuprofen presented the highest risk while the highest risk for AF was attributed to current use of diclofenac.
Here are some stories from readers to bring all this into focus. You can read more in the comment section below this article.
Rick was quite athletic and healthy until this happened:
Nana from Houston shared this:
Sherry in Waxhaw, NC points out that it took the FDA a long time to discover that NSAIDs could cause heart problems: