Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Motrin, Aleve, and Advil

Dr. Susan Orrange republished this warning on the GoodRx site this week, and it’s worth repeating here given the number of people who take these drugs.

NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lead the list for medication induced kidney damage because of their widespread use. NSAIDs are used to treat a host of conditions such as fever, rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain, and inflammation among many others. Use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, Motrin, Aleve, and Advil can reduce the amount of blood flow to the kidneys, resulting in a higher risk for kidney damage or failure. People with heart failure, liver disease, or previous kidney problems are at even higher risk when taking NSAIDs. To reduce the amount of risk associated with NSAID use, try to use these medications at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.

When my wife first went under treatment by the Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, she was put into a hospital for five days expressly to allow the doctors to “detox” her from Aleve.  The doctors there considered more than 8 pills in a 30-day period to be a potentially dangerous overdose.  That’s far less than the directions on the box indicate.


  1. Dr. Sharon Orrange, “The 10 Worst Medications for Your Kidneys,” GoodRx, 9 Novermber 2016. https://www.goodrx.com/blog/10-worst-medications-for-your-kidneys/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_campaign=em_nurture&utm_content=blog_kidney&e=66e4013215cd54de978d8ff77403d770&c=fixed__&c=0

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