Certain Meds with Ibuprofen Can Permanently Damage Kidneys

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According to new research, people who take a diuretic and a renin-angiotensin system (RSA), such as an inhibitor for hypertension (high blood pressure), should be aware of also taking ibuprofen.

RSA inhibitors and Diuretics are prescribed for hypertension patients and are accessible under many pharmaceutical brand names. In addition, painkillers like ibuprofen are found in most pharmacies and stores in brand names, such as Motrin and Advil.

Scientists at the University of Waterloo used artificial intelligence to test drug trials to model the reactions of the three pharmaceuticals and the impact they have on the kidneys.

They discovered that in people with specific medical issues, the combination of these drugs might cause acute kidney injury, and in some, it can be permanent.

“It is not that everybody who ingests this combo of meds will have kidney issues. Although the research shows it is big enough of a problem that people should use with extreme caution,” said Anita Layton, a researcher at Canada 150 in mathematical medicine and biology and professor of mathematics at Waterloo.

Artificial intelligent simulated drug tests can produce results quickly that otherwise would take a lot longer through human clinical trials.

Layton and her research team use computer science and mathematics to give doctors a head start with problems such as drug complications.

The research shows that many people consuming medications for hypertension may also take a painkiller with ibuprofen and not give it too much thought.

“Diuretics are a class of drugs that make it so that your body holds less water,” Layton said. “Dehydration is an important factor in acute kidney injury, and the RAS inhibitor with ibuprofen hit the kidney with a triple whammy. So, if you take hypertension drugs and need a painkiller, try Tylenol instead.”


“Determining risk factors for triple whammy acute kidney injury” by Jessica Leete, Carolyn Wang, Francisco J. López-Hernández and Anita T. Layton, 11 April 2022, Mathematical Biosciences.
DOI: 10.1016/j.mbs.2022.108809

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