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Home > Health Topics > Medications and Your Kidneys

Medications and Your Kidneys

Many people with chronic kidney disease take medicines prescribed to lower blood pressure, control blood glucose and lower cholesterol.

You may also need to take a diuretic, sometimes called a water pill. The aim is to meet your blood-pressure goal. These medicines may work better if you limit your salt intake.

Your doctor may change your medicines if your kidney disease worsens. If your kidneys don’t filter as well as they did in the past, this can cause an unsafe buildup of medicines in your blood. Some medicines can also harm your kidneys. Your doctor may tell you to take a medicine less often or take a smaller dose, stop taking a medicine or switch to a different one.

Your pharmacist and doctor need to know about all the medicines you take, including OTC medicines, vitamins and supplements. If you take medicines for headaches, pain, fever or colds, you may be taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs can damage your kidneys and lead to acute kidney injury, especially in those with kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Ibuprofen and naproxen are NSAIDs. They are sold under many different brand names, so ask your pharmacist or doctor if the medicines you take are safe to use.

If you have been taking NSAIDs regularly to control chronic pain, you may want to ask your doctor about other ways to treat pain, such as meditation or other relaxation techniques.



Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, April 2018

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