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Health Talk: Taking Too Many Painkillers Can Damage The Kidney – Dr. Aliu Yakubu


Health Talk : Taking Too Many Painkillers Can Damage The Kidney – Dr. Aliu Yakubu

Dr. Aliu Yakubu

For different reasons, the use of painkillers is common these days. However, a lot of people are ignorant that this habit can be detrimental to their health especially their kidney.

Analgesics are easily purchased in various medical stores even without prescriptions, making them readily available to the masses.


Popular over the counter (OTC) analgesics include paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Alabukun amongst others and it is important to note that most dispensers of these drugs have little or no knowledge of drugs and their
potential side effects. Also, overdose prescription is a common practice amongst custodians or owner of most drug stores.

This act is widely referred to as “AKAPO” in my mother tongue. This practice is extremely dangerous as it exposes the kidneys to toxins and the kidneys are the main organs of metabolism of these

Continuous and chronic exposure to these noxious agents results in a kidney abnormality known as analgesic nephropathy.

Analgesic Nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease that results from the chronic use of painkillers containing a different combination of drugs, leading to significant impairment in the kidney functions, which
necessitates dialysis or kidney transplant.

It is noteworthy that occasional use of appropriate doses of painkillers in individuals with normal kidney function is usually harmless to the kidneys.

Some disease conditions such as painful menstruation, backache, arthritis and musculoskeletal pain might necessitate long term use of pain killer. Visiting a doctor to know the best choice or for any alternative is important for this category of people.

• Desist from prolonged use of OTC analgesic, medical opinion should be sought for any condition
necessitating long time use.

• Fluid intake should be increased to about 6-8 glasses of water when taking analgesics.

•People with kidney problem should consult their doctors before choosing an analgesic.

•Read warning label of drugs before taking them is advisable.

• Those on long-term usage should visit the hospital to check their kidney function.