10 Things To Know About Medications With Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, is a condition that affects the proper functioning of the kidneys. The kidneys are crucial in filtering waste products from the blood and maintaining fluid balance. When kidney function is impaired, it can significantly impact how medications are processed and eliminated from the body. 

If you have kidney disease, it’s essential to be aware of certain things regarding medications. Durham Nephrology has experience with what problems medications can cause, so we have some crucial points to consider.

Consult Your Healthcare Provider 

It is vital to consult your healthcare provider, such as a nephrologist or primary care physician, before starting any new medication. They will assess your kidney function and determine the appropriate dosages for your condition.

Medication Adjustments 

Many medications must be adjusted or avoided in patients with kidney disease. The kidneys are responsible for filtering and eliminating drugs from the body, so impaired kidney function can result in the accumulation of medications and their metabolites, leading to potential toxicity. Your doctor will consider your kidney function and adjust the dosage accordingly.


Medication To Avoid 

Certain medications should be avoided in kidney disease because they can cause further kidney damage or worsen existing conditions. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen, some antibiotics, certain blood pressure medications, and certain contrast dyes used in medical imaging are examples of medications that may harm the kidneys.

Medication Requiring Caution 

Some medications must be used cautiously in individuals with kidney disease. For instance, certain antibiotics, anticoagulants, and diabetes medication may need dosage adjustments or close monitoring to prevent adverse effects.

Importance of Drug Labeling 

Read medications’ labels and packaging information carefully. Look for any specific warnings or precautions regarding kidney function. Some medicines may explicitly state that they are unsuitable for individuals with kidney disease or require dosage adjustments.

Over-The-Counter Medication 

Be cautious when taking them, as they can also have potential risks for individuals with kidney disease. Common medicines like pain relievers, antacids, and laxatives may contain ingredients that can harm the kidneys. Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any OTC medication.

Herbal Remedies And Supplements

Herbal remedies and dietary supplements can have potent effects on the body, including the kidneys. Some herbal products and supplements may be harmful to individuals with kidney disease. It’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider about any herbal or dietary supplements you are taking to ensure their safety.

Regular Monitoring 

Regular monitoring of kidney function is essential when taking medication for kidney disease. Your healthcare provider will order periodic blood tests to assess your kidney function and monitor the levels of medications in your system. These tests help ensure that medications are effectively dosed and not causing further harm to your kidneys.

Lifestyle Modifications 

Alongside medication, lifestyle modifications are vital in managing kidney disease. Maintaining a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels, staying hydrated, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption are crucial for kidney health.

Communication With Healthcare Providers 

Maintaining open communication with your healthcare providers is essential. Inform them about any changes in your condition, new symptoms, or side effects experienced while taking medications. This will help them adjust your treatment plan appropriately and ensure your overall well-being.

Find Our More With Durham Nephrology 

Individuals with kidney disease should know the potential risks and considerations when taking medications. Consultation with healthcare providers, cautious use of medications, regular monitoring, and a healthy lifestyle are essential to effectively managing kidney disease and preventing further complications.

Our team at Durham Nephrology has seen the problems firsthand that come from the misuse of medication while treating kidney disease. Do you have questions about medication use? Don’t wait around for the answer; contact our team today for more information.


06.14.2024 Does Low Sodium Indicate Kidney Problems?

Sodium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction in the body. While most people are aware of the dangers of consuming too much sodium, low sodium levels can also be problematic, particularly for individuals with kidney problems. The kidneys are responsible for regulating the […]

Your Opinion Matters

Hospital Privileges

We are proud to provide care at two local hospitals.

Duke Regional Hospital Granville Health System