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Do Pain Killers Harm Kidneys?

motoratormmotorator Posts: 123
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I still have pain and stiffness 1 year post op.

My kidney Dr says my kidney function is 50%...He said try to not take pain killers because they can damage kidneys.

Anyone having kidney problems due to pain meds?



  • Harry,
    These are 3 statements I found off 3 different kidney sites/foundations. I am so very glad you brought this up. I only have 1 kidney at 70 % function and lost the other due to infection and a very large stone. So I was more then happy to look up this information for you. O:)

    Now when I went to pain managment that was a different issue as there was no asprin etc in the long acting meds. So mabye something you want to look into???
    I am going back in January to be put on a long acting medication to get rid of these daily pills ;)

    Here is the info below I copied and pasted:

    analgesic-associated kidney disease
    Loss of kidney function that results from long-term use of analgesic (pain-relieving) medications. Analgesics that combine aspirin and acetaminophen are most dangerous to the kidneys.

    Inflammation in the kidneys. Acute kidney failure may result from sudden inflammation of the spaces between the glomeruli and the tubules (acute interstitial nephritis) and inflammation of the glomeruli (acute glomerulonephritis). Acute interstitial nephritis is usually associated with an allergic reaction to a drug. Examples include certain antibiotics — especially streptomycin or gentamicin — and common pain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). Antibiotics pose a greater risk of acute kidney failure for people who already have liver or kidney disease or who use diuretics or other drugs that affect your kidneys.

    Some over-the-counter medicines can be poisonous to your kidneys if taken regularly over a long period of time. Products that combine aspirin, acetaminophen, and other medicines such as ibuprofen have been found to be the most dangerous to the kidneys. If you take painkillers regularly, check with your doctor to make sure you are not putting your kidneys at risk.
  • :) good morning! :H unfortunately that is one of the side effects of taking narcotics.i have not heard of it happening alot though. i have been taking pain meds for over 30 years and never had any problem. our liver and kidneys have the ability to clean themselves naturally but adding narcotics to the mix can be added stress on them. i take several supplements daily to help clean out my liver and kidneys for that very reason. you would be wise to do as your doctor suggests. :? if you stop and get better you will know it was the meds! that is nothing to play around with. good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • I am sorry that you still have pain and stiffness after all this time >:D< . Do take any musle relaxers? :? I always try to eat something when i take my medication, and i have to take them 4 times a day, and throughout the day i take nearly 30 tablets @) . I also make sure i drink lots of water #:S . Keep posting! :H

    Angie >:D<
  • Great info all. Thank you. No more ibuprofen for me.

    TerriJV - with the one kidney what is your creatinine numbers?


  • I've never had any blood tests at all , apart from the first ever consultation some 4 years ago when I presented to docs at the end of my rope.

    I have been popping NSAID's for many years, stopped just before m first surgery and moved over to paracetamol / acetaminophen.

    I take between 11 -22 tablets a day, depending on a good or bad day.

    Your stiffness - are you talking lumbar back stiffness?

    I hope you feel ok soon.
  • I was only on NSAIDS for 4 months, and it burned a hole in my stomach. I had to stop taking them and take something else to heal up the burn. When I ate ANYTHING it felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach repeatedly over and over and over and I would have to curl up in a fetal position for about half an hour to an hour each time. It was horrible. I hate NSAIDS, and I am hesitant to take them again. Naproxen is what did it. I HATE it. Lol.

    I get blood taken every few months to test my liver and kidney functions. It was my primary care doctor who ordered that, not even my Neurosurgeon. But it makes me feel better... I never even thought of it, they just ordered it, and I'm glad.
  • good question harry :? :?
    i just had blood work done 2wks ago for my angigram. i will ask the vascular surgeon tues at my appt. he has the results.
    i should ask anyway since i have not seen my uro since dec of 05!!!!!! yes im BOLD BOLD BOLD }:) }:) }:) . but i was having so many drs appts for my back, it got let go :S :S :S :S
    there is probably like 50 million stones in there again.

    yes lo i was the same way i took so many NSAIDS for the back/leg pain like way past 20 a day sometimes to kill the pain that it had a huge effect on my kidney and ripped apart my stomach i had 2 ulcers the size of apples. and the leg/back pain had nothing to do with my back it was my kidney, i did not have your classic symptoms of a kidney stone. all the stones over years clumped together to 4inches!!!!! :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:

    this is why i get very upset with drs at times when they say oh "take tylenol" "take motrin" it drives me nutso ~X( ~X( ~X( ~X( ~X(

    k not hijacking the thread ;) ;) ;)
  • A friend's husband took ibuprofin for teeth problems. He did that instead of going to the dentist. Both of his kidneys ended up damaged. He was on dialysis for a few years, but ended up dying.

    I don't know why Doctors don't warn about this!!
  • I am suppose to get an angiogram soon. My kidney Dr gave me a script for mucomyst oral to counteract the contrast. Have you heard of it?


  • Its ironic, doctors bend over backwards to tell us narcotics are harmful(which they can be), yet never warn us of NSAIDs/Tylenols nasty little surprises with long term use.

    My stomach is wreck from the last months Aleve debacle.I have weird bruises on the left side of my stomach, and my appetite has diminished, and my prior usage of harder NSAIDS(rx only) have all resulted in allergic reactions.These drugs are great for what they do, but should not be given out as often for long term pain.When I was taking 12 x 325 tylenol before I got my Norco, my liver panels were off for months.Yes, I am still taking it, but in lower doses and aided by a narcotic additive which reduces my intake.

    We should all be getting liver and kidney tests done every 6 months IMHO when taking these meds anyways just to be safe.Best to consult your doctor though.
  • I have kidnery disease (glomuler nephritis) due to lupus so I see a kidney specalist every 3 months and have a mountain of tests including 24hr urine collection.

    I also take a mountain of medication each day tegretol, valuim, thyroxine, celebrex, zoloft, metformin, nexium, lyrica, oxycontin Er, lipitor, endone. also calcium, glucosamine, mg, iron, folate, fish oil.
    Yep, breaky lunch and dinner without even adding food :))(

    I also take paracetamol 4 times a day or as needed.
    My kidneys have actually never been in better shape and both the Nephrologist and I are pretty amazed.
    Mind you - I drink about 3 litres of water a day (as well as other drinks)and he said that is the key. Drink lots of water as Angie said and keep flushing the kidneys through so any toxins dont sit there for long.

    Harry I hope things improve for you. As a general rule 4 x 2 panadol/paracetamol is the absolute limit per day for your kidneys. Anything more then that and you should be on something stronger that doesn't affect your kidneys so much.

    Itsalongwalk- sounds like time to get some blood tests done. EUC id particular and LFTs (liver) may be good as well.

    Terri- thanks for that interesting info.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Harry, interesting, I have never heard of mucomyst for this purpose. It is a quite interesting and varied drug. It is given in inhalation to break up mucous in the lungs of patients with COPD. It also is used orally to treat acetaminophen overdose. I have given it many times to patients in pediatrics, usually teens who tried to commit suicide by tylenol OD. It may be different now, but at the time it was only available as an inhalation solution. We had to mix it in juice and have the patients drink it. Sounds easy except it smells and tastes like rotten eggs. It is disgusting and many times patients ended up needing a nasogastric tube so we could put it in them because they either refused to drink it or would throw up from the taste/smell. They have to take it every 4 hours for a total of 18 doses. It is very effective in preventing the liver damage if it is started within 8 hours of the OD. How many doses will you need to take? If it is the stinky form try mixing it in something and plug your nose :D Cali-Sue
  • I did a "Mucomyst kidney" google and it looks like Mucomyst has caught on as a contrast antidote.

    My script says 600 mg/20% x 2 the day before and the day of cardiac cath.

    Thanks to all for all the info.

    I hope we all heal.

  • I'm curious, what are the supplements you take to cleanse your kidneys and liver? I had a three level fusion 9 months ago, and still have pain and stiffness that requires me still taking 2 percocets per day. One in the morning, one before bed, and in-between, my Tens Unit is my best friend.

    I also take a multi-vitamin, calcium +D, extra vitamin D, Glucosamine, B complex, prozac, and an occational 1/2 of a valium for sleeping. I'm having serious issues with sleeping, but that's a whole other story. I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed everyday between 2-3am, YULK, with no daytime naps, and going to bed at 9pm, insomnia...

    Just recently I've been experiencing deep pain in my right hip, and back to what seems to be my kidney area, and have been concerned about being on percocet for so long. I don't feel as if I have a kidney infection, but it aches deeply back there where my kidneys are.

    If I knew some cleansing supplements for Kidneys, I could give it a try and see if that pain goes away. thanks
  • sorry had to do the YO =))
    it was listed in the phamplet they gave me.
    but they did not give it to me.
    i had to take plavix for 6 days till the day of the test.
    then of course they discontinued that.
    iv had alot of tests with contrast and its all in my paper work about the kidney and never had been offered to take anything to contridict it. hmmmmm :? the angio is a breeze. i was sore of course as they used my arm and had it twisted .PLUS i was sore because i am used to being on my side and being on my back from 9-3pm was not fun. and i had to keep my arm straight out on a splint for 24 hrs. and the fentynl did not agree w/ my stomach.
    the test only took like 10 min if that.. i think less from the time they did the numbing injection and the dye. plus with my back they did not want to keep me on there long. if ya need to know anything at all about that just ask. it was a BREEZE. the prep was longerrrrrr 8} 8} and dang its cold in there!! (8) (8)

    im a huge WATER drinker . besides my coffee in the morning at night thats all iv learned to drink. iv been on and off meds for years. for different types of things. but REFUSE to take a motrin . i will once in awhile take 2 tylenol for a headache or a excedrine but that is few and far between.
    plus i ask for the 325 in my meds not 500 of tylenol.
    of course go figure i got dropped for pain from my surgeon and my pcp had to take over. and he gave me the ones with 500 but im only on a dose of 2500 a day if needed in my lortab.

    plus the dr wants me to take b-lith aka vit b w/ magnisium.
    that is to help prevent stones.

    lynnsy i would get that checked out. i don't ever have the typical pain of stones/infections etc...
    not saying thats what it is at all by no means.
    could be your L2. we just all never know.

    i mean who thought my severe leg pain was coming from a blockage in my stomach..

    everyone be your own health care advocate in some cases its so very important.

    ok getting way off track again.
    sorry typing under the influence 8} 8} 8}
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