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.
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.
When your kidneys aren't working properly, medications can build up and cause you harm. It's important to get your kidneys checked and to work with your doctor to make any adjustments to your medication regimen, such as dosing changes or substitutions. This will help prevent any negative effects from the medication, including further kidney damage.
You can determine your level of kidney function with a blood test for serum creatinine to calculate an eGFR measurement. An eGFR estimates how well your kidneys are filtering wastes from the blood.
The National Kidney Foundation encourages you to learn more about the health of your kidneys in order to protect these vital organs when taking medications. Always speak with your clinician and pharmacist to determine whether the medications that you're taking should be adjusted based on your kidney function. Only make changes to your prescription medications with the supervision of your trained medical practitioner. Ask questions and evaluate the risks and benefits based on your specific health needs.
Here are 5 common types of prescription and over-the-counter medications may need to be adjusted or replaced if you have kidney damage.
For more information about medications that may need to be adjusted or avoided if you have chronic kidney disease, click here.