Health Library

 

Kidney Disease: Medicines to Avoid

Topic Overview

Many medicines may impair kidney function and cause kidney damage. And if your kidneys aren't working well, medicines can build up in your body. If you have chronic kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to continue to take a medicine but may change how much you take. Or you may change to a different medicine. Don't stop taking any prescription medicines without talking to your doctor first.

It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products that you take. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Some examples of common medicines that may need to be avoided, adjusted, or changed:

  • Pain medicines, including:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDs can reduce the flow of blood to your kidneys. NSAIDs are also found in medicines for fever, colds and coughs, and sleep problems.
    • Acetaminophen and aspirin may be harmful if overused. They are usually safe in small amounts.
  • Herbal supplements, which can contain minerals like potassium that are harmful for people who have kidney disease. Many herbs can interact with prescription medicines. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before you take herbal products.
  • Statin medicines, such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin, for high cholesterol.
  • Diabetes medicines, including insulin and metformin.
  • Heartburn and upset-stomach medicines, such as Milk of Magnesia and Alka-Seltzer. These medicines can affect your electrolytes.
  • Antimicrobial medicines, including some antibiotics, anti-fungal, and antiviral medicines.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as of August 29, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

First Nurse

First Nurse

Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!

Ames: 515-239-6877
In Iowa: 800-524-6877 

Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.

Symptom Checker

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Patient Privacy | Net Learning for Employees | MGMC PACS for Physicians
Emergency Preparedness

1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - yourhealth.mgmc@mgmc.com

©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.