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Maria Mulka-Gierek, Bartosz Foroncewicz, Leszek Pączek, Elżbieta Wawiórko, Joanna Kamińska, Maciej Kosieradzki, Piotr Małkowski, Bianka Małczuk, Sławomir Nazarewski, Krzysztof Mucha
(Department of Immunology, Transplantology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Ann Transplant 2018; 23:153-159
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics are the most commonly used drugs and are increasingly available over-the-counter (OTC). In certain groups of patients, including kidney transplant recipients, their use may be complicated by adverse effects or drug interactions. The aim of our study was to assess the causes and frequency of OTC NSAIDs or analgesics use, as well as the awareness of related side effects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We enrolled 94 randomly selected kidney transplant recipients, who represented 5% of all kidney transplant recipients at our center. An anonymous survey consisting of 23 multiple-choice questions was administered voluntarily and anonymously.
RESULTS: In all, 63% of study patients confirmed taking the OTC painkillers; 22% of these patients took these drugs at least several times a week, and 4% took these drugs daily. For 38% of the study kidney transplant recipients, NSAIDs or analgesics were reported to be the only way to manage their pain. In addition, 30% of study patients were unaware of the risks associated with these drugs, despite the fact that 89% of the study patients consider physicians the best source of information.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that 63% of kidney transplant recipients regularly took OTC painkillers and 30% were unaware of the potential adverse effects. This necessitates continuous, ongoing education of kidney transplant recipients about the risks of OTC NSAIDs or analgesics use.