This post is the fifth, and final, in a series taken from the article by Keith Wassung entitled “Aspirin: Helpful or Hazardous”. This series focuses on Aspirin, it’s side effects, bleeding, heart attacks, and non-Aspirin pain killers. This week’s post provides a look at non-Aspirin pain killers and conclusion.

Ibuprofen, which includes products such as Advil, Motrin and Nuprin, has been a leading cause of kidney damage. As many as 20% of the 125, 000 cases of end stage kidney damage are the direct result of Ibuprofen. 11

Chronic renal failure (CRF) also called chronic kidney failure, chronic renal insufficiency, or uremia is the gradual loss of the kidneys’ ability to filter waste and fluids from the blood. Chronic renal failure can range from mild dysfunction to severe kidney failure. The kidneys serve as the body’s natural filtration system, removing waste products and fluids from the bloodstream and excreting them in the urine. The kidneys maintain the body’s salt and water balance, which is important for regulating blood pressure. When the kidneys are damaged by disease or inherited disorders, they no longer function properly, and lose their ability to remove fluids and waste from the bloodstream. Fluid and waste products building up in the body can cause many complications. Renal failure can exist without symptoms for many years and often progresses so gradually that CRF may not be detected until the kidneys are functioning at less than 25% of their normal capacity. Several drugs cause damage to the kidneys, including ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin, Advil) acetaminophen (Tylenol), If taken regularly over long periods, these medications act like poisons to the kidneys.12 MERCK MEDICUS

“An estimated 19.2 million Americans have stage 1, 2, 3 or 4 stage kidney disease.”

– New England Journal of Medicine

Acetaminophen, sold under brand names such as Tylenol and Anacin 3, is used to relieve pain and fever. It’s use has been associated with digestive disorders & liver disease.

FDA probes new worry about acetaminophen overdose


WASHINGTON (AP) Evidence that many Americans may poison their livers by unwittingly taking toxic doses of acetaminophen has the government considering if consumers need stiffer warnings about the popular over-the-counter painkiller Because acetaminophen is non-prescription, people think “it must be safe and they take it like M&M’s” says Dr. William Lee of the University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas. He tracked more than 300 acute liver failure cases at 22 hospitals and linked 38% to acetaminophen, versus 18% caused by other medications. In a second database tracking 307 adults suffering severe liver injury—not full-fledged liver failure—at six hospitals, Lee linked acetaminophen to 35% of cases of liver failure. 14


Effective Marketing has given consumers the perception that aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers are harmless drugs, but there is much evidence to suggest just the opposite. Medical research nearly always supports drug usage, which is not surprising, since the vast majority of medical research is funded by the drug industry. Many safe and natural alternatives that have proven to be effective, rarely receive positive media exposure and are often downplayed by an industry that has no financial interest in a drug-less health care system.


  1. Bennet, W. National Kidney Foundation
  2. Klhar, A. “Chronic renal failure” Merck Medicus, May 2001
  3. Levey, A. “Non-diabetic kidney disease” New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 7, 2002
  4. CNN, “FDA probes new worry about acetaminophen overdose” March 27, 2001