Can over-the-counter pain medications cause kidney disease? How can patients with kidney disease treat their pain?
The fact that a number of painkillers are available freely over-the-counter (OTC) often gives a lot of people a false sense of security about the safety of these medications. A statement that I here from some of my patients is, "it was available without a prescription, so I thought it wasn't too strong ". So very often, patients assume that if a medicine is not too potent, it probably does not have serious side effects either. Sadly, a medication's potency is not necessarily proportional to its side effect profile. HOW DO PAIN MEDICATIONS DAMAGE THE KIDNEYS: EFFECTS ON KIDNEY FUNCTION Pain medications can have different renal effects. These can range from reversible, short term reductions in kidney function due to a decrease in the blood supply to the kidneys (called Acute Renal Failure, or Acute Kidney Injury ), to a more chronic disease where the kidneys shrink in size, develop a rough and bumpy surface, and demonstrate tissue breakdown called "papi