Nonprescription analgesics and their use in solid-organ transplantation: a review.


OBJECTIVE To review the pharmacology, adverse events, drug interactions, and use of the nonprescription analgesics in solid-organ transplant recipients. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION Studies evaluating nonprescription analgesics in solid-organ transplantation were considered for evaluation. English-language studies were selected for inclusion. DATA SYNTHESIS Nonprescription analgesics (aspirin, choline salicylate, magnesium salicylate, sodium salicylate, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen) are the most commonly purchased over-the-counter agents in the United States. These agents, although generally considered safe, have been associated with a number of toxicities. The salicylates and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been associated with gastrointestinal damage, hematologic changes, liver and kidney dysfunction, and breathing difficulties. Acetaminophen has been shown to induce hematologic changes and liver and renal dysfunction. CONCLUSION A closer look at the nonprescription analgesics reveals their potential for harm when used by solid-organ transplant recipients. In this patient population, the salicylates and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should generally be avoided if possible, because of their potential toxicities, especially renal dysfunction. Low-dose aspirin, for the prevention of cardiovascular and cardiocerebral events, appears to be safe, but patients must still be followed closely. Acetaminophen is generally considered the nonprescription analgesic and antipyretic of choice in transplant recipients because of its favorable toxicity profile. However, it is imperative that patients and transplant practitioners are aware that this agent is not without toxicities and proper monitoring is advised.

Cite this paper

@article{Gabardi2004NonprescriptionAA, title={Nonprescription analgesics and their use in solid-organ transplantation: a review.}, author={Steven Gabardi and Linh Luu}, journal={Progress in transplantation}, year={2004}, volume={14 3}, pages={182-90} }