NSAID Use and Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease
Our society has unquestionably come to view NSAIDs like OTC ibuprofen and it’s prescriptive equivalents as relatively harmless ways to cope with “everyday” pain. The commercials make it sounds like these should be used with no more or less concern than a glass of water.
The reality is that this class of drugs is notoriously suspect in a variety of chronic diseases. We know that as little as 400 mg of ibuprofen can disrupt the integrity of the GI tract. Use has been linked to PROGRESSION of arthritis by inhibiting the ability of the joint surface to heal itself (and, in my clinical opinion, many chronic pain sufferers continue to accumulate new areas of complaints that never seem to heal, which I directly related to NSAID use). Liver damage is known. Here’s the real rub. Cumulative use adds up.
This is not a matter of taking this class of drugs a couple times per month. The likelihood of someone in today’s drug accepting society to hit high cumulative doses is great. And while kidney effects have been known as well for over a decade, the authors use some strong language in this study. “Chronic exposure to NSAIDs should be avoided.”