Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can cause life-threatening kidney damage in children, researchers have warned this week.
The NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) cause acute kidney damage – sometimes requiring treatment in intensive care – in around 3 per cent of children, say researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Small children up to the age of five years can suffer the worst reactions, and may need dialysis.
The researchers made the discovery when the looked over the records of 1,015 children admitted to one hospital in Indiana with acute kidney injury (AKI). Of these, 27 – or 2.7 per cent – were caused by an NSAID, and the vast majority had been taking the painkiller for less than seven days.
Although none of the children died, 30 per cent had long-lasting kidney damage after the AKI episode, which could worsen as they get older.
(Source: Journal of Pediatrics, 2013; published online January 28, 2013)