(Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash)

WATERLOO, Ontario — If you’re currently taking a diuretic and a renin-angiotensin system (RSA) inhibitor for hypertension, researchers from the University of Waterloo warn that taking ibuprofen could be a very harmful combination. Scientists report combining the three drugs can result in acute kidney injury among certain medical profiles. In some cases, these kidney injuries can be permanent.

Available under a wide variety of pharmaceutical brand names, diuretics and RSA inhibitors — such as an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blockers — are routinely prescribed together to help treat high blood pressure. Ibuprofen, on the other hand, is a widely available over-the-counter painkiller.

Researchers used a series of computer-simulated drug trials to reach these conclusions. This strategy allowed them to model the interactions between the three drugs, as well as any impact on the kidneys.

“It’s not that everyone who happens to take this combination of drugs is going to have problems,” says Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics at Waterloo and Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematical biology and medicine, in a university release. “But the research shows it’s enough of a problem that you should exercise caution.”

Dehydration plays a major role in kidney damage

Human clinical trials can take months or longer to produce results. Computer-simulated drug trials, however, are much faster. So, Prof. Layton and her team use their expertise in math and computer science to create computer-simulated drug trials, affording medical practitioners a much earlier indication of any potential drug interaction problems.

This time around, their findings apply directly to many, many people currently taking drugs for their blood pressure. Such individuals may take an ibuprofen and have no idea they are putting their kidneys at risk.

“Diuretics are a family of drugs that make the body hold less water,” Prof. Layton concludes. “Being dehydrated is a major factor in acute kidney injury, and then the RAS inhibitor and ibuprofen hit the kidney with this triple whammy. If you happen to be on these hypertension drugs and need a painkiller, consider acetaminophen instead.”

The study is published in the journal Mathematical Biosciences.

About John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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  1. Allen Bertulli says:

    I just read the article regarding Ibuprofen with high blood pressure meds. I take a 800 mg of Ibuprofen 3x a day, along with 1 25 mg Atenolol, and a 2.5 mg of Amlodipine. I believe they’re for high blood pressure. Are these prescriptions part of the study? If unknow, can you send me a link where I can ask?


  2. stephen soares says:

    I also take Amlodipine….and Valsartan…where can I find out if these drugs are part of the study, and why didn’t the article be more specific?

  3. Eric says:

    Not helpful at all … what HBP drugs???? All this does is wave a red flag with no substance. Even trying to track back to the original study i can’t see what drug names it refers to … please find someone who can explain WHICH HBP Medicines this interaction may occur with …

    1. Lynn Burns says:

      Amen.just name them and we will decide.

  4. Justracy says:

    I’m not discrediting all of your comments, but it does say certain medications with added Diuretics (water pills) are what you shouldn’t take with Ibuprofen.
    However, a quick search on Safari or Google will give you a better idea.