NSAID Painkillers Could Increase Kidney Cancer Risk: Study

According to the findings of a new study, a popular class of widely used pain medications that include Motrin, Advil and Aleve could be linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer. 

Harvard Medical School researchers published research in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week that found users of many over-the-counter medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) face a more than 50% increased risk of kidney cancer.

The study comes less than a week after Canadian researchers reported that there could be a link between NSAIDs and miscarriages.

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The Harvard researchers looked at more than 125,000 men and women who used NSAIDs, acetaminophen or aspirin for extended periods of time and found that NSAID users were 51% more likely to be diagnosed with renal cell cancer. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other medications, and aspirin were not associated with any increased kidney cancer risk, according to the study’s results.

The findings indicated that there was a dose-response relationship, meaning the more Aleve, Motrin or Advil you took, the higher your risk of kidney cancer. Those who took the drugs 10 years or more were at nearly triple the risk of kidney cancer than those who did not use the painkillers.

According to the Canadian study published last week, use of NSAIDs during pregnancy were linked to double the risk of spontaneous abortions. However, there was no dose-response relationship seen in that study.

Two months ago, a number of studies found that NSAIDs were associated with an increased risk of heart problems, with one research team from the University of Florida determining that NSAID users had a 47% increased risk of cardiovascular events.

None of the studies found a causal link between the painkillers and heart, kidney or pregnancy problems.

4 Comments

  • LovellaMay 30, 2022 at 8:22 am

    My love worked hard and was an excellent tile, brick and marble master. He used aleve for at least 20 years consistently for knee and shoulder pain. Was diagnosed with Kidney cancer, June 2021. He lost his battle March 30th. Why do they put this stuff out there KNOWING this?!?!?!

  • CarolJune 7, 2012 at 12:32 am

    my father died of kidney cancer 01/07/2012. I am not sure what medicines he took, he was 79 years old.

  • DeborahDecember 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I took Advil PM for several years, I had no prior health issues. Last fall I developed general malaise and went to the doctor I discovered that I was in acute kidney failure. Since that time I had to take steroid medication for a long period of time. I remain at a stage 3 chronic kidney failure. I have been told that Advil played a major role in this diagnosis. Beware of these drugs. What we ar[Show More]I took Advil PM for several years, I had no prior health issues. Last fall I developed general malaise and went to the doctor I discovered that I was in acute kidney failure. Since that time I had to take steroid medication for a long period of time. I remain at a stage 3 chronic kidney failure. I have been told that Advil played a major role in this diagnosis. Beware of these drugs. What we are led to believe will cure us is in fact killing us.

  • AnneNovember 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    the docror put me on Acetaminophen and Motrin also on had breast cancer i felt sick after taking this pain killers broke out in red rash and a cough that will not go away cough so, hard i get very gaggy. i had to stop all these things stilling coughing and throwing up.

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