Medication Safety and Kidney Disease

Understanding CKD and Medications

While medication may be necessary to treat medical conditions and manage symptoms, patients living with CKD need to know what medications may harm kidneys. Whether over-the-counter or prescribed, here are some medications that may negatively affect kidney health.

Cholesterol Medications

Also known as statins, CKD patients should check with their kidney doctor before taking cholesterol medications to prevent further kidney complications.

Pain Medications

Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs can lower blood flow to the kidneys. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided. It’s vital for CKD patients to avoid narcotic medications because if they build up within the body, which may cause negative health effects.

Antibiotic Medications

CKD patients should be cautious when taking antibiotics and should only take them as prescribed by their doctor. If taken incorrectly, it may lead to further kidney problems.

Antacid Medications

If you have an upset stomach, check with your kidney doctor before using an antacid medication. It could cause problems with the body’s electrolyte balance.

Diabetes Medications

Certain diabetes medications such as insulin are filtered through the kidneys. Since diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease, it is very important that CKD patients keep their blood sugar levels under control. Depending on your level of kidney function, your doctor may need to adjust your dosages.
While the above medications and over-the-counter drugs should be avoided, speak to your doctor about other medication options to help with other medical conditions.
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