What is analgesic nephropathy?
An analgesic is any medicine intended to alleviate pain. Over-the-counter analgesics include the following:
* naproxen sodium
Some conditions make taking these common painkillers dangerous for the kidneys. Taking one, or a combination of, these drugs regularly over a long period of time may increase the risk of kidney problems.
Analgesic nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease that gradually leads to end-stage renal disease and the need for permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant to restore renal function. It can result from taking painkillers every day for several years. And, the painkillers that combine two or more analgesics (for example, aspirin and acetaminophen together) with caffeine or codeine are the most likely to damage the kidneys. These mixtures are often sold as powders. Analgesic nephropathy occurs in four out of 100,000 people, usually in women over 30 years of age.
What are the symptoms of analgesic nephropathy?
The following are the most common symptoms of analgesic nephropathy. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
* fatigue or weakness
* blood in the urine
* an increase in urination frequency or urgency
* pain in the back or flank area (where the kidneys are located)
* a decrease in urine output
* decreased alertness such as drowsiness, confusion/delirium, or lethargy
* decreased sensation or numbness, especially in the extremities
* nausea, vomiting
* generalized swelling
* easy bruising or bleeding
Some patients experience no symptoms. The symptoms of analgesic nephropathy may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Treatment for analgesic nephropathy:
Specific treatment for analgesic nephropathy will be determined by your physician based on:
* your age, overall health, and medical history
* extent of the disease
* your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
* expectations for the course of the disease
* your opinion or preference