How can I be kind to my liver and kidneys?
August 31, 2016 8:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking a bunch of pain meds right now.

I had my wisdom teeth out on Saturday. It's been pretty painful and it also seems to have gotten infected. (I'm on antibiotics now.) So ever since Saturday afternoon I've been taking my prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen, and then also taking 400-600 mg of ibuprofen every 4 or 5 hours. My dentist is aware and hasn't said anything but I feel worried. Hopefully the antibiotics will make the pain go away within a couple of days, but still. I want to do what I can to help my body be healthy, whether that's right now, or after I heal up.

I'm not drinking any alcohol, obviously. I read I should drink lots of water, and I can do that. I don't have any other health issues or medications, I'm your standard late 20s female. Anything else I can/should do?
posted by ohsnapdragon to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Drink enough water and don't go over a total of 3000mg of acetaminophen a day, if you're really worried. If you're an otherwise healthy young person, you really don't have much to be concerned about for a short-term use of the medication you need for pain.

Going to assume you don't smoke, but yeah, don't smoke either. Get enough to eat, including protein (but not too much - just don't live on sports drinks) and vitamins A/C through whatever you can eat.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:15 AM on August 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is well within what your kidneys and liver can handle. This is not something to worry about.

The best thing you can do is follow instructions. Take pain meds when you need to; don't convince yourself you'll become dependent and start robbing pharmacies, or let the mainstream media make you worry about addiction; just treat the pain appropriately. This is what pain meds are appropriate for.

Opioids do cause constipation, so watch out for that and treat with laxatives (senna, or Mirilax) as necessary.
posted by Dashy at 8:16 AM on August 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

Water, fiber and rest.
posted by AugustWest at 8:19 AM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Do drink water, but you might intersperse with Pedialyte (normally I rec the popsicles because they taste better, but if you get those you'll want to let them melt to slushy and eat with a spoon, so just get the regular bottles - orange and berry are okay) for electrolytes.

You're well within medically-supervised limits. This is a normal thing to have recommended by a doctor - combo acetaminophen-based prescription painkillers with (generally cheaper OTC than a prescription for the same thing) nsaids/anti-inflammatories.

Try to take your ibuprofen with at least a small serving of protein drink or yogurt or mashed potatoes or something, for the sake of your stomach lining. And plenty of yogurt or probiotic capsules to try to spare your gut flora from the antibiotics.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2016

don't smoke either

they forbid smoking after extractions anyway, due to risk of dry socket
posted by thelonius at 8:49 AM on August 31, 2016

just drink as much water as you feel comfortable drinking and try not to stress out about this! the amount of pain meds you are on, combined with the expected duration of recovery, are in no way dangerous to your body unless you already have liver or kidney problems. really your main concern right now is, as mentioned above, the fact that opiate painkillers will seal up your butt like the nuclear blast doors at the cheyenne mountain bunker complex.

also, antiinflammatories like ibuprofin can cause heartburn and stomach upset so it's a good idea to take them with food, and try not to take them right before bedtime.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:54 AM on August 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

Take milk thistle.
posted by Michele in California at 11:00 AM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Your kidneys really benefit from extra water so that the meds are diluted as the kidneys flush them from your body. The best way to protect your liver is to not drink alcohol. Opiates? Lots and lots of fiber and probably some metamucil or other supplemental pooping aid. I hope you are well soon.
posted by theora55 at 1:10 PM on August 31, 2016

That is a lot of ibuprofen. be careful. I think you aren't supposed to exceed 2400mg to avoid acute kidney injury. I assume you aren't taking 600mg every 4 hours around the clock, though?
posted by pintapicasso at 2:19 PM on August 31, 2016

I agree with pintapicasso's point. Every 4 hours around the clock would be too much ibuprofen. It's OK on your kidneys/stomach to take around the clock ibuprofen (like every 6 hours) in smaller doses for a short time but I would not recommend it for more than a couple of days.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:15 PM on August 31, 2016

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