What is a quick way to determine if a medication is processed in the kidneys or liver (or elsewhere)?

For example, let's take a few common medications: acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Using these as examples, how would someone determine where in the body these medications are processed?

  • This is an interesting question, and I'd love to see an answer, but it would really help if you could provide more context. A more complete question begets a more complete answer, and will be far more helpful to future generations of Health SE users. Jan 10, 2017 at 10:31
  • @TheEnvironmentalist I agree, let me think of ways to improve the question. Jan 10, 2017 at 10:34
  • @TheEnvironmentalist Thank you for your kind feedback. I have (hopefully) improved the question. Jan 10, 2017 at 10:40
  • Wikipedia would be a good start. Penicillin you can smell in the urine so you know it's largely excreted that way. Jan 14, 2017 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


drugs.com is a great resource. Go to the a Pro Edition header. Once you pull up the medication, scroll down until you find the Pharmacology Category. Once here, look for Metabolism and Elimination. This is where you will find your answer. Wikipedia is also a great place for quick hitter info. Search for the same sections in those articles and you should get the information you need. The least fun but most precise way is to google search the package insert for the medication you wish to research. Make sure you click the "I am a health care provider" tab. Then look for the package insert/prescribing information. This will be a large pdf where CTRL + F will be your friend.

Hope this helps.

  • Great info. I might suggest adding that generally medication classes are processed in the same way, and knowing a medication's class can help guide you. For example, ibuprofen and naproxen are both NSAIDS, etc
    – DoctorWhom
    Jun 30, 2017 at 3:37

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