Washington: Sick children who may be dehydrated by flu or other illnesses, risk significant kidney injury if given NSAIDs drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, say US researchers.

Jason Misurac and colleagues from the Indiana and Butler Universities reported that nearly three percent of cases of acute paediatric kidney injury, over a decade, could be traced directly to having taken NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

NSAIDs affect kidney function by restricting blood flow to the blood-filtering components of the kidneys and magnifying risks for children dehydrated by vomiting or diarrhoea, during an illness, Misurac was quoted as saying in the Journal of Paediatrics.

The study included young patients who needed dialysis, and those who may have suffered permanent kidney damage, the researchers said, according to an Indiana statement.

"These cases, including some in which patients' kidney function will need to be monitored for years, as well as the cost of treatment, are quite significant, especially when you consider that alternatives are available and acute kidney injury from NSAIDs is avoidable," Misurac, a fellow in paediatric nephrology at Indiana, said.

Fever is normal during an infection and not in itself dangerous, he noted, so "one alternative to NSAIDs would be acetaminophen, but another alternative would be no medication at all, at least for a while, to let the body fight the infection".

The research is believed to be the first large-scale study of the incidence and impact of acute kidney injury caused by NSAIDs.

The team evaluated medical records at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana from January 1999 through June 2010 and found 1,015 cases in which patients had been treated for acute kidney injury from any cause.



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