Although medicine cannot reverse
chronic kidney disease, it is often used to help treat
symptoms and complications and to slow further kidney damage.
Medicines to treat high blood pressure
Most people who have chronic kidney disease have problems with high blood pressure at some time during their disease. Medicines that lower blood pressure help to keep it in a target range and stop any more kidney damage.
Common blood pressure medicines include:
You may need to try several blood pressure medicines
before you find the medicine that controls your blood pressure well without
bothersome side effects. Most people need to take a combination of medicines to
get the best results. Your doctor may order blood tests 3 to 5 days after
you start or change your medicines. The tests help your doctor make sure that your medicines are working
Medicines to treat symptoms and complications of chronic kidney disease
Medicines may be used to treat symptoms and complications of
chronic kidney disease. These medicines include:
- Erythropoietin (rhEPO) therapy and
iron replacement therapy (iron pills or intravenous iron) for
- Medicines for
- Diuretics to
treat fluid buildup caused by chronic kidney disease.
- ACE inhibitors and ARBs. These may be used if you have protein in your urine (proteinuria) or have heart failure. Regular blood tests are required to make sure that these
medicines don't raise potassium levels (hyperkalemia) or make kidney function
Medicines used during dialysis
erythropoietin (rhEPO) therapy and iron replacement therapy may also be used
during dialysis to treat anemia, which often develops in advanced chronic
- Erythropoietin (rhEPO) stimulates the
production of new red blood cells and may decrease the need for blood
transfusions. This therapy may also be started before dialysis is needed, when
anemia is severe and causing symptoms.
- Iron therapy can help increase levels
of iron in the body when rhEPO therapy alone is not effective.
- Vitamin D helps keep bones strong and healthy.
What to think about
Talk with your doctor about what
immunizations you should have if you have chronic
kidney disease, such as hepatitis B, flu (influenza), and pneumococcal vaccines.
Also, be sure to discuss
medicine precautions. Make sure to tell your doctor
about all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbs you are