How herbal drugs, painkillers destroy kidneys —Nephrologist

A Consultant Nephrologist at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Enajite Okaka, has cautioned against excessive intake of painkillers.

Okaka, who spoke on Thursday in Benin during the World Kidney Day, blamed the increase in kidney-related diseases on abuse and misuse of painkillers and unregulated use of herbal medicines.

She said: “Painkillers can cause kidney disease and you know, we take them in large amount and for a long period of time.

“You see, people whose jobs are largely physical, they tend to end up with body aches and pains at the end of the day, they go to the chemist to buy medicines for body pains.

“More often than not, they (pharmacies) give them a cocktail of painkillers and they take them, they feel so good and relieved. So, they go back again and again, and that can damage their kidney.

“Some herbal medicines, too, can cause kidney problem. A lot of them do not have dosages, but people keep drinking it.

“Sometimes, people come to the hospital and by the time they present with kidney ailment, we usually discover that it is from the herbs they have been taking,” she said.

The Consultant Nephrologist appealed to the federal and state governments to subsidise the cost of treating hypertension and diabetes to enable patients get affordable treatment, and to also lessen the attendant financial burden on those already down with kidney-related problem.

“The government should take care of those things that lead to kidney diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes.

“If they can make the treatment of hypertension and diabetes free, people who have them can get the drugs.

“There are some persons who are not taking medicines for hypertension even though their blood pressure is high; and when you ask them, they will tell you that they do not have money to buy drugs.

“So, if the medicines can be subsidised so that they are cheap or free, more people will get good treatment,” she said.

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