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Pain medication for someone with one kidney

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I recently lost a kidney. I also have had chronic back pain since February. My family practitioner told me to take 3 200mg ibuprofen 3 times a day for 3 days for flare ups. For breakthrough pain, I have a prescription to percocet. I asked her if that's okay to do since I only have one kidney and she said yes. I have to admit, the only real relief is from the percocet. She recommended I see a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor(physiatrist) after an MRI. He said since I have only one kidney, opioids are better for me, and that he was going to include that in his dictation. Does anyone know, or have opinions, about what pain medicines are best for people with one kidney?

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replied September 12th, 2010
Your post caught my eye as I can relate well to your concerns, so I will share a few things with you. I will preface this by stating that I am not a doctor, and I don't know all the detail of your treatment, but hopefully my experience will help get you started.

If you are going to be treated for an extended time period, I would find a doctor with pain management experience to help formulate and monitor a treatment plan based on your needs. Quite frankly, I would be concerned about potential toxicity and kidney issues after taking that much ibuprofin, especially long-term, just by itself.

If the percocet is your best relief, and you can function normally, I would ask about eliminating that intake of that ibuprofin. If this would work for you, the levels of tylenol in the percocet would not pose as much concern on its own for the short-term.

If you anticipate that your going to be using these meds on-going/long-term, I suggest asking the doctors to prescribe the percocet tablets used for chronic pain, which do not contain tylenol, and thus would be the best for your concerns about the toxicity and kidney issues. The generic name you will find is oxycodone hcl, which is the derivative name of percocet's active ingredient. It is also available in various strengths.

Given your kidney history, I would certainly consider that as an option. The other advise I would suggest, which will help ease your mind going forward, is to establish a schedule for blood testing to check your levels and ensure your functions remain within normal ranges.

As a patient I have learned to do my homework, speak up, and be honest about what works for you. I speak from experience and being a patient who takes these medications myself. It took some time and frustration before I found my ideal plan, but it works for me, so I'm sure you will too. Good luck!
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