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Health Spotlight: Uncovering serious side effects when using NSAIDs

Uncovering serious side effects when using NSAIDs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Aspirin and ibuprofen are NSAIDs and are used to reduce or relieve pain, but they can come with some pretty serious side effects if not used as instructed.

Advil, Aleve, Aspirin – all over-the-counter drugs considered safe to use, but they do come with some serious side effects if used long term. These NSAIDs can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. Even if you are not at risk for these conditions, they can increase your blood pressure and cause kidney damage like they did for avid runner Barry Davis. His nine pills a day for three decades left him with only about 25% of his kidney function.

“I never had any prohibition. No one said don’t do that,” said Davis.

“These kinds of anti-inflammatories are meant to be taken on a short term to help with an acute pain or inflammation,” said Charles Srour, a board certified chiropractic physician.

Long-term use of NSAIDs can decrease blood flow and oxygen to the kidneys. They can also cause sodium and fluid retention. Srour says there are safer alternatives like turmeric, fish oil, and infladox for treating persistent pain.

“In some cases, the effect that they get is even stronger than what they would get with pharmaceuticals,” said Srour.

That prevents the hidden damage caused by prolonged use of NSAIDs.

Experts warn that if you’re already taking diuretics, or ace inhibitors, taking NSAIDs can put you at a greater risk for kidney damage.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.