Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
Every drug you put into your body passes through your kidneys. If the drug is not taken following a doctor's orders, or if it is an illegal substance, it can cause injury to the kidneys. When they are healthy, your kidneys can rid your body of its waste materials. But if your kidneys do not work properly, you must be treated either by dialysis or with a kidney transplant or you could die.
Your kidneys could be damaged if you take large amounts of over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. None of these medicines should be taken daily or regularly without first talking to your doctor. Thousands of Americans have destroyed their kidneys by using excessive amounts of these medications.
Heavy drinking can hurt both your kidneys and your liver. Alcoholics have a high risk of developing both kidney and liver failure.
Antibiotics can also be dangerous if they are not taken correctly. People with kidney disease need to take a smaller amount of antibiotics than people with healthy kidneys. Take only medicines ordered for you by your doctor.
Most street drugs, including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and even death, in some cases from only one use. Cocaine, heroin and amphetamines also can cause kidney damage.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
©2013 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.