Why Avoid Aspirin? Most kidney doctors caution PKD'rs against using aspirin, paracetamol, tylenol, phenacetin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or other prescription or over-the-counter medications that can impair kidney function. Analgesic-induced renal papillary necrosis can result. The kidneys can shut down.
The difficulty with taking aspirin or tylenol for a long period of time, greater than the occasional usage of 1 tablet every 3 months, is that kidney damaging effects are cumulative, over a lifetime. There was a prospective study out of Australia that showed long term use of tylenol caused kidney failure in individuals without kidney disease. A few PKD'rs try to utilize a variety of foods to relieve different pains: lemon juice for headaches and daily minor aches; cherries for wrist and joint pain; papaya and pineapple are strong anti-inflammatories and useful for diminishing back pain. Papaya contains papain and pineapple contains bromelain.
Should a woman with PKD who has had a stroke at age 35 take daily aspirin? This was asked to a panel of PKD doctors. They all said that this is a tough question because you have to weigh the possibility of another future event against kidney damage. They all asked to know the particulars. If the person had low kidney functioning already and was currently on dialysis that would be a different situation from someone who had no evidence of diminished kidney functioning. Generally with the prior history of stroke, they thought perhaps a small dose of baby aspirin might be OK. The risk of a future stroke and the risk of bleeding and kidney health decreasing all have to be considered as well as the remaining quality of life. A major cause of strokes is atrial fibrillation.
Aleve (naproxen) thins the blood causing a tendency to bleed more easily. It reduces the excretion of lithium by the kidneys which increases lithium blood levels. It weakens the heart muscle. Lithium is to be avoided as lithium can cause kidney failure. On the elemental chart, lithium is above sodium. Lithium may have some similar prosperities to sodium. Salt or sodium is to be limited with PKD.
Women who take daily baby aspirin have fewer strokes. Men who take baby aspirin have fewer heart attacks.
There is another option to ask your doctor – ask about drinking a cup of chamomile or chrysanthemum tea, both thin the blood.