This Is What Happens To Your Kidneys When You Take Ibuprofen Every Day

Ibuprofen is not meant to be a long-term solution for chronic health ailments. Haleon, the company that makes the Advil brand of ibuprofen, explains that using the drug on an ongoing basis can result in negative side effects. Instead, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil are designed to temporarily alleviate pain and fever. If pain symptoms persist beyond ten days or if the fever does not resolve after three days, patients will want to call their doctor rather than continue to take the medication daily.

So what are some of the adverse effects that may occur if a person continues to use ibuprofen on a daily basis? For one, extended use of the medication may lead to kidney issues, although this side effect is considered rare if ibuprofen is taken as instructed on the label. Otherwise, 2021 research published in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives outlines that NSAID-related kidney issues may include acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Other kidney problems that may develop include nephrotic syndrome — a condition in which the kidneys release an excess of protein into one's pee (per Cleveland Clinic).

Long-term ibuprofen use may increase risk for kidney disease

While the research on long-term NSAID use is limited, the Pharmacology Research & Perspectives scientific review highlights a study in which taking NSAIDs every day for over a year was found to be linked with an increased risk for chronic kidney disease. Also referred to as chronic kidney failure, CKD occurs when kidney function breaks down over time. As a result, waste can accumulate in the body if it's not being properly filtered and excreted from the body.

Older adults, as well as people with hypertension, obesity, or diabetes, may be more susceptible to developing chronic kidney disease, according to Mayo Clinic experts. Progressive signs of kidney damage may include nausea, vomiting, foot or ankle swelling, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, and more. For these reasons, it's important to inform your doctor if you are diagnosed with kidney disease or are taking a diuretic for treatment prior to using ibuprofen (per Advil).

When daily doses of ibuprofen may be advised

While daily ibuprofen use may not be advised for the general public, there are some instances in which your healthcare provider may suggest it. This may be the case for people who experience joint pain due to arthritis, explains Medical News Today. Because NSAIDs can lower inflammation, ibuprofen is FDA-approved as an arthritis treatment method. While joint pain may come on periodically for some patients, for others, it is an everyday part of their lives. These individuals may be given prescription extended-release ibuprofen to be taken every day as directed.

In a 2014 study published in Open Access Rheumatology: Research and Reviews the study team found that out of 519 patients in Egypt, over 99% reported improvements in their osteoarthritis symptoms after taking two 800-milligram tablets of sustained-release ibuprofen daily over the course of four weeks. Participants also received standard medical care in addition to ibuprofen treatment. However, some experts oppositely argue that NSAIDs may not be an effective long-term solution for osteoarthritis.

Although daily doses of ibuprofen may be recommended in certain unique cases, it is best to follow all product directions outlined for the use of over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs in order to avoid the risk of kidney damage and other potential side effects.