Skip to content

Kidney Disease: Medicines to Avoid

Font Size

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.

Recommended Related to

Goodpasture Syndrome

Goodpasture syndrome is a rare but serious autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys. The disease occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against collagen in the lungs and kidneys. Collagen is a protein that helps form connective tissue. Goodpasture syndrome initially causes vague symptoms such as fatigue. But it can rapidly involve the lungs and kidneys. It is almost always fatal if it is not quickly diagnosed and treated.

Read the Goodpasture Syndrome article > >

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.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Kidney Disease: Medicines to Avoid Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
Does your kid have symptoms?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.