Taking anti-inflammatories while you take some blood pressure medicines can damage your kidneys. You should avoid anti-inflammatories if you are taking ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) or ARBs (angiotensin-2 receptor blockers) and diuretics (water pills).
Taking some medicines together can cause problems. This is called a medicine or drug interaction. A common interaction happens when you take anti-inflammatories while you take some blood pressure medicines. This can damage your kidneys. Read more about acute kidney injury.
What is the problem?
ACE inhibitors/ARBS and diuretics are often used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Taking these medicines together is safe, but it is not safe to take them with an anti-inflammatory as well.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are used for pain from headache, migraine, dental pain, back and muscle pain, arthritis, painful periods and pain following injury. They can help reduce fever, redness and swelling.
You can buy anti-inflammatories at your supermarket or pharmacy without a prescription, so you may take them without realising that this may cause harm to your kidneys.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories drugs (NSAIDs). They are used for pain from headache, migraine, dental pain, back and muscle pain, arthritis, painful periods and pain following injury. They can help reduce fever, redness and swelling.
Read more about NSAIDs and risks of NSAIDs.
Examples of NSAIDs
|Medicine name||Also called|
|Ibuprofen||Brufen, Ibugesic, I-Profen, Nurofen, Advil, Medix|
|Combination medications||Nurofen Plus, Maxigesic, Nuromol, Brufen extra, Nurofen Cold and Flu, Ibucode Plus,Panfen Plus|
|Naproxen||Noflam, Naprosyn SR|
|Diclofenac||Voltaren, Diclofenac, Diclohexal, Apo-Diclo SR|
Blood pressure medicines
Most ACE inhibitors have names that end in 'pril'. The following ACE inhibitors are available in New Zealand. Read more about ACE inhibitors.
|ACE inhibitors available in New Zealand|
ACE inhibitors are sometimes combined with a diuretic (water tablet), eg:
Most ARBs have names that end in 'sartan'. The following ARBs are available in New Zealand:
ARBs are sometimes combined with a diuretic, eg, Karvezide, Arrow-Losartan & Hydrochlorothiazide, Entresto. Read more about ARBs.
Water pills (diuretics)
Diuretics are medicines that help your body get rid of extra salt (sodium) and water. They work by increasing the amount of urine (pee) you make. Read more about diuretics.
|Medicine name||Also called|
|Furosemide||Lasix, Apo-Furosemide, Oedemid, Urex Forte, Furosemid Stada|
|Eplerenone||Inspra, Eplerenone Te Arai|
|Combination medicines that include diuretics||Frumil, Moduretic
Karvezide, Arrow-Losartan & Hydrochlorothiazide, Entresto
How can I prevent kidney damage?
- If you take blood pressure medicines, you should avoid anti-inflammatories.
- If you want to take anti-inflammatory medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist first.
- Only take one type of anti-inflammatory medicine at a time.
- Take anti-inflammatories sparingly – take the smallest dose you need for the shortest possible time.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose.
Read more about how to protect your kidneys.
The Triple Whammy SafeRx, Waitematā DHB, NZ, 2013