Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs, help reduce pain, decrease fevers, and in higher doses, decrease inflammation. For mild to moderate pain and swelling, 200mg to 400mg should do the trick. 200mg to 400mg of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Motrin or Advil is the equivalent to about 650mg of acetaminophen, or Tylenol.
NSAIDs rarely affect the liver. Most are absorbed completely and have negligible first-pass hepatic metabolism. Basically the way that NSAIDs are metabolized makes liver toxicity very rare. Generally speaking, NSAIDs are very liver safe, and 1 in 100,000 NSAID prescriptions result in acute liver injury.
However, you should be mindful that NSAIDs are capable of inducing a variety of renal function abnormalities, especially in high-risk patients with decreased renal blood perfusion. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, inhibit prostaglandins, which causes a problem because prostaglandins dilate the blood vessels that lead to the kidneys. Inhibiting prostaglandins may lead to kidney ischemia, which is dead tissue from decreased blood flow, and thus acute kidney injury. Fluid retention in the kidneys is the most common NSAID-related renal complication. A simple blood test can show a rise in creatinine if your kidneys are being affected. It can be seen within the first 3 to 7 days of continual use of NSAIDs.
Occasional use of NSAIDs for headaches, and other temporary aches and pains is not a problem. When it comes to arthritis or other chronic inflammatory conditions, people should seek a safer option for relief from pain and swelling. Older people are especially vulnerable to kidney problems because kidney function declines with age! The good news is that the kidney damage can be reversed when you stop taking NSAIDs! Its never a bad idea to have a check of your kidney function when you go in for routine blood work.