Long term NSAIDs and kidneys

Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced kidney issues after being on NSAIDs long term.

I have been on NSAIDs for approx 35 years and I have never had a break. I've previously also been on long term steroids and methotrexate.

3 years ago I had a kidney infection that took about 4 lots of antibiotics to resolve and then 2 years ago I had inflammation of the kidneys and it was mentioned that I needed to reduce my anti-inflammatories. I have tried reducing but haven't been able to. I now have gastroesophageal reflux disease and so currently waiting to discuss coming off anti-imflammatories and looking at alternatives (My last DAS was 5)

I'm due to be seeing GP this week as for the last few weeks, I have had a lot of pain on my right side and back, especially when going for a wee. Its pain to the point where it leaves me breathless. I've previously had this pain but an ultrasound didn't show kidney stones, just an inflamed kidney...

Has anyone had similar?

8 Replies

I'm new here and been in pain for 2 years used to take ibuprofen but for the last month pain has increased and it doesn't cut it so 3 weeks go the doc gave me naproxen and I think they are causing pain in my right kidney it so painful, I've stopped taking them and it's calmed down ive not been on NSAIDs for aslong as you though but I'm glad you posted this I thought I was going mad good luck with your go appointment hope you find something that helps xx


There are blood tests which show up any kidney damage. I have some damage but they think that's my age not the drugs I've taken, but they are giving many more warning than they used to.


I'm afraid I'm of no help Helly but will follow your post with interest as my h has kidney issues only recently come to light & so far only had some of his meds replaced for others but is about to start investigations. He's prescribed quite a few meds though one we're questioning is paracetamol hence the interest in your NSAID/kidney question. He's unable to tolerate 'strong' or opioid pain relief so has been relying on prescribed paracetamol max dose daily for the last 18 months in an attempt to help ease pain he's been left with after failed sternal dehiscence reconstruction & subsequent partial sternal necrosis following successful CABG surgery. He recently had a call from my GP (he's under a different partner in the same Practice) who questioned if anyone had contacted him about recent pre-existing diabetes blood test & urine results to which he answered yes but at the time had yet to discuss it with both nurse & GP. It appears his kidney is working at 30% presently, although she informed him a test a year ago revealed it was working at 60%, this at the time hadn't been discussed with him so his kidneys have unknowingly had continued to be an issue. He also recently started with back pain which we thought was an attack of a long existing back issue although we couldn't pin it on any specific event & now we're questioning if it's likely related to CKD. Anyway, apols for the long explanation - I hope your appointment with your GP provides answers for you, your pain eases & you've no long term damage. As I said I will follow this thread with interest. Take care.


Paracetamol is broken down via the liver so doesn't impact on kidney function. My Dad had 30% function last year, he was told to drink more and its now back up to 60%. Hope your husband has the same improvement xXx


Yes, generally we associate aspirin with the kidney & paracetamol with the liver but Professor Philip Conaghan of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine determined from studies the risk of renal failure of those on long-term use of paracetamol. This link explains (it's a shortened version of another rather long research report) The research also included GI & cardiovascular findings - Figure 4 is relative to acute renal failure.

Thank you for your good wishes & I'm pleased your dad now has better function. My h is aware of the importance of hydration being diabetic & drinks 2 litres of water daily plus incidental liquids. x


I'm pretty sure NSAID's have a risk for kidney damage with chronic use. It would be worth pushing for further investigations given the pain you experienced as there could be other factors to exacerbate a reaction.

Good luck.

(Although active management will remove quite a bit of the luck factor!)

Reply taking NSAIDS from the past 15 -16 yrs .no such issues with kidneys or liver cause I take dosages on the bases of my condition...if I feels so much pain I could take a higher dose but if not I would probably stay away from pain killers deseas is well mentained from the last few year .i do yoga .


Thanks everyone for your responses.... Dip test was ok but sent off for further checks and also currently awaiting results of kidney function. There are a couple of possibilities but as well as the results, I'm going for another ultrasound. My last one showed no kidney stones but kidneys were inflamed.

The bit that is a little puzzling is that sometimes my urine is completely clear, no colour at all. Its usually darker in the mornings as expected but then can go clear after as little as a few drinks.

Shall keep you posted...


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