MIAMI, Fla. (KFSN) --When you buy over-the-counter pain medications, you assume they're safe, but is that always the case? Ivanhoe has the story of one man who found out the answer the hard way.
Barry Davis told Ivanhoe, "I came from a healthy human being to someone with failing kidneys, I'm in stage IV."
Davis has only about 25 percent of his kidney function left. What was the cause? Over-the-counter pain meds like Advil and Aleve. They belong to a class known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS. Davis, once an avid runner, says he took up to nine pills a day for three decades. He says he told his doctors.
"And I never had any prohibition. No one said don't do that," Davis said.
Doctors may not have warned Davis, but the National Kidney Foundation advises that while NSAIDS are "... usually safe for occasional use ..." they can lead to chronic kidney disease.
Charles Srour, DC, chiropractor at Pro Health Care says, "These kinds of anti-inflammatories are meant to be taken in the short term to help with an acute pain or inflammation."
Davis now sees Doctor Srour who says there are safer alternatives for treating pain long term. He recommends the herb turmeric, specifically curcumin, fish oil and complexes like infladox, which combine supplements.
"In some cases, the effect they get is even stronger than what they get with pharmaceuticals," Srour told Ivanhoe.
Davis says he assumed buying medicine over the counter meant it was safe. He urges others not to make the same mistake.
"I'd think twice for sure," Davis explained.
A move that could preserve your health.
Doctor Srour also says Aspirin is an NSAID, but there is far less documentation that it causes kidney failure in comparison to ibuprofen.