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Drug combination linked to kidney failure

Published: 18 Jan 2013

A new study showing a triple combination of blood pressure drugs and common painkillers can increase the risk of serious kidney problems means doctors will have to be extra vigilant when prescribing this particular concoction of drugs. A team of researchers from the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University found a triple therapy combination of a diuretic with a second antihypertensive drug plus a painkiller was associated with a 30 per cent higher risk of kidney failure - and the risk was 80 per cent higher during the first 30 days of treatment. Samy Suissa, an epidemiologist at the Jewish, led the study and said what was particularly worrisome about the finding is that high blood pressure is common and it is also quite common that someone be prescribed more than one antihypertensive drug to combat it. "Many people will take two drugs simultaneously and then have arthritis, or some other kind of pain, that requires non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)," Suissa said. "Now we realize this is a triple threat and physicians will have to be vigilant about following this up because some people, especially elderly people, require this combination of drugs."

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