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Chronic Kidney Disease: Medicines to Be Careful With

Overview

Many medicines may impair kidney function and cause kidney damage. 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. Make sure you talk with your doctor before you start or stop any medicine.

Medicines that may need to be avoided, adjusted, or changed include:

  • Pain medicines, including:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
    • Acetaminophen and aspirin may be harmful if overused. They are usually safe in small amounts.
  • Herbal supplements. They can contain minerals like potassium that are harmful for people who have kidney disease. Many herbs can interact with prescription medicines.
  • Statin medicines, such as lovastatin and simvastatin.
  • Diabetes medicines, including insulin and metformin.
  • Heartburn and upset-stomach medicines, such as Milk of Magnesia and Alka-Seltzer.
  • Antimicrobial medicines, including some antibiotics, anti-fungal, and antiviral medicines.

Credits

Current as of: May 4, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology

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