Drugs to be avoided for Kidney Patients

Medications save and improve lives, but it can be easy to overlook their risks and side effects, especially if you don’t think they apply to you. Twenty-six million Americans have chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it.

If you don’t know how well your kidneys are working, you may not realize that certain medications could be damaging your kidneys and other parts of your body. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications are filtered by the kidneys. This means that your kidneys degrade and remove medications from the body.

Here are 5 common types of prescription and over-the-counter medications may need to be adjusted or replaced if you have kidney damage.

  1. Cholesterol medications. The dosing of certain cholesterol medications, known as “statins”, may need to be adjusted if you have chronic kidney disease.
  2. Pain medications. If you have decreased kidney function some over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are not recommended because they can reduce blood flow to the kidneys. Certain narcotic pain medications can build up in the body and cause serious problems for patients with chronic kidney disease.
  3. Anti-microbial meds. Many anti-fungal, antibiotic and antiviral medications are cleared by the kidneys. It’s important that you and your clinician are aware of your level of kidney function so that a kidney-safe medication can be prescribed for your treatment.
  4. Diabetes medications. Insulin and certain medications used by people with diabetes are cleared by the kidneys. Because diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease, it’s important that those with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar control typically involves a combination of diet, physical activity, and medication. If you have diabetes and chronic kidney disease, check with your physician to see if any dosing changes need to be made based on your level of kidney function.
  5. Upset stomach/antacid medications. This group of over-the-counter medications can disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance if you have chronic kidney disease. Check with your doctor to see if these are safe for you to use.

Courtesy: Article published by Kidney Cancer Association.

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