Q:

What is the connection between ibuprofen and kidney disease?

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Quick Answer

Certain painkillers, including ibuprofen found in drugs such as Advil and Motrin IB, can slow the blood flow to the kidneys, leading to kidney failure. Other drugs have a similar effect, including aspirin and naproxen sodium, which is known as Aleve, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

For people with kidney disease, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, can cause a worsening of symptoms. Long-term use of these medications can cause a type of kidney disease that is known as chronic interstitial nephritis. For this reason, the use of these medications is not recommended for longer than 10 days for pain or 3 days for fever. Even people who do not have kidney damage should only take analgesic pain mediation at its lowest possible dose for the shortest time period, and it should only be taken as prescribed or as indicated by the product’s labeling, warns the National Kidney Foundation.

When a pain reliever is needed, the National Kidney Foundation notes that acetaminophen products such as Tylenol are preferable to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. Using these medications sparingly is important, and increasing fluid intake to 6 to 8 glasses per day is recommended during the course of treatment to ensure the health of the kidneys.

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