Anti-inflammatory and kidney: they are as safe as they seem?

Written by: Dra. María Dolores Arenas Jiménez
Published: | Updated: 17/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Specialists Nephrology always advise patients to consult about any treatment that are to begin, as they are aware of the many problems associated with self - medication without proper supervision of a healthcare professional. One of the pharmacological groups with more self - medicate population are known nonsteroidal antiinflammatory or, as commonly known by its acronym, NSAIDs.


What are anti - inflammatory?


NSAIDs are used to treat mild to moderate pain in multiple locations in the body, such as headache, joint, muscle spasms, pain associated with menstruation, renal colic, etc.. They are also used in the symptomatic treatment of pain and inflammation in rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis ...). They are also able to reduce fever. That is, they are very versatile and a great number of indications drugs, which makes their use is widespread among the population. It is estimated that 20% of people over 65 take them and prescribed to 20% of patients admitted to hospitals.

This widespread use of NSAIDs contributes the fact that we are drugs usually sold in the pharmacy without a prescription deliver, which opens the door to any of us can buy them easily. This has meant that we lost, in part, respect for these drugs and do not have in mind the side effects they have.



Side effects of anti - inflammatory


Perhaps the most known side effect is damage to the stomach and intestines , causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric or duodenal ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Other adverse effects include increased blood pressure, headaches (high dose), increased cardiovascular events (heart attacks, stroke), kidney damage, liver damage, ringing in the ears and rashes. As we can see some of the side effects are minor but others can become dangerous, so we must take them into account before taking anti-inflammatories.


Another thing is usually done poorly when consuming an NSAID is the dose taken. Often, the intake is higher than what is due, it is essential to always consult a specialist.


It should be borne in mind that the greatest effect of NSAIDs is not to remove the pain (analgesic) but reduce inflammation (as its name suggests); It is therefore important that, before the onset of any symptoms, such as headache, fever or has suffered trauma, visit the doctor before freely consume an NSAID because there are other more effective drugs to remove this type of pain or reduce fever and have no such side effects.


One of the side effects that NSAIDs is the damage produced in the kidneys. When taken for long periods of time they can produce renal failure, unfortunately, irreversible and in those who have renal failure and they may worsen.


Therefore, NSAIDs, although well tolerated and very safe and effective drugs, has its indications and side effects so you always have to prescribe a doctor.





*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. María Dolores Arenas Jiménez

Dr. Arenas Jimenez is a medical doctor and expert nephrologist in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. It has more than 20 years dedicated to her specialty and service as Chief of Nephrology and Internal Medicine team Vithas International Hospital Perpetuo of Alicante. Also actively involved in research and the dissemination of advances in nephrology being leader of opinion within their specialty. He emphasizes his human and close relationship with the paciente.Su brilliant career makes her a first-rate doctor.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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