Anyone taking a diuretic and a renin-angiotensin system (RSA) blocker for high blood pressure should exercise caution when also taking ibuprofen, according to new research.
Diuretics and RSA inhibitors are commonly prescribed together for people with hypertension and are available under various brand names. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen are available over-the-counter at most pharmacies and popular brand name stores.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo used computer-simulated drug trials to model the interactions of the three drugs and the impact on the kidneys. They found that in people with certain medical profiles, the combination can cause acute kidney damage, which in some cases can be permanent.
“It’s not that everyone who takes this combination of drugs will have problems,” said Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics at Waterloo and holder of the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and Medicine. “But the research shows that’s enough of a problem that you should exercise caution.”
Computer-simulated drug trials can quickly produce results that would take much longer in human clinical trials. Layton and his team use math and computer science to give doctors a head start on issues like medication-related complications.
The search, in this case, can also speak directly to the many people on blood pressure medication who may be looking for an ibuprofen pain reliever without thinking too much about it.
“Diuretics are a family of drugs that cause the body to retain less water,” Layton said. “Dehydration is a major factor in acute kidney injury, and then the RAS inhibitor and ibuprofen hit the kidney with this triple whammy. consider acetaminophen instead.
Layton’s new research paper, with co-authors Jessica Leete, Carolyn Wang, and Francisco J. López-Hernández, “Determining Risk Factors for Triple Whammy Acute Kidney Injury,” appears in the journal Mathematical Biosciences.