Pain medication increases chance of kidney failure

People with kidney disease who regularly take aspirin or acetaminophen may increase their risk of developing kidney failure, According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (December 20, 2001;345:1801-1808) the use of aspirin or acetaminophen may increase the risk of kidney failure in those with existing kidney disease. Kidney patients who took these drugs frequently (at least twice a week for 2 months) were two to three times more likely to have the beginning stages of chronic kidney failure than those who do not regularly use pain medication, according to researchers. Individuals who took either aspirin or acetaminophen regularly were 250% more likely to be diagnosed with chronic renal failure, compared with individuals who did not use these painkillers. The researchers found that the risk rose in with the amount of either drug taken over a lifetime. This study and others have found that the risk of kidney failure linked to pain medication is minimal in those without pre-existing kidney disease.

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