Be Careful About Using Over
If you take OTC or prescription medicines for headaches, pain, fever, or colds, you may be taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug . NSAIDs include popular pain relievers and cold medicines that can damage your kidneys if you take them for a long time, or lead to acute kidney injury if you take them when you are dehydrated or your blood pressure is low.
You also can look for NSAIDs on Drug Facts labels like the one below.
Top Ten Drugs That Cause Kidney Damage
We all know doctors prescribe medications, or drugs, for almost every health problem we have. Although they are important for the treatment of many serious diseases, you should be aware that drugs can also cause side effects with different intensity and severity.
They can harm important organs in our body, especially kidneys as every drug you take must pass through this organ. Although the list of medications which damage our kidneys is long, we give you the top ten of them which cause the greatest damage.
1. Analgesics including the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, as well as the alternative to aspirin, acetaminophen, especially if taken with ACE inhibitors, and diuretics.
2. Antibiotics including methicillin, ciprofloxacin, sulfonamides, and vancomycin, as they put extra strain on kidneys in the process of elimination from the body. However, this class of drugs are safe as long as taken in a dose adjusted to the level of your kidneys function.
3. Heartburn medication of the proton pump inhibitor group, including: lansoprazole , omeprazole , rabeprazol , pantoprazole , esomeprazole , as well as Milk of Magnesia.
4. COX-2 inhibitors including Celebrex . Valdecoxib and Rofecoxib are the two COX-2 inhibitors that have been withdrawn from the market because of cardiovascular toxicity. Although created to be safer for the stomach than other NSAIDs, these drugs pose the same risk for kidney damage.
Helping Heal The Kidneys
Getting your blood sugar and blood pressure under control is the best method to prevent renal failure. Over two-thirds of renal failure are caused by hypertension and and diabetes.
Lowering your consumption of animal products , while increasing your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is a great place to start. Lowering consumption of processed foods that are high in sodium and fat, as well as refined sugary treats like cakes, cookies and donuts is also important. Drinking plenty of water and natural diuretic foods like celery, watermelon, and cucumber can also flush the kidneys of any excess waste products.
Treat your body to a full kidney detox with this juice recipe.
Asking your doctor about alternatives to the drugs mentioned below is another great option.
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Not Drinking Enough Water
Staying well hydrated helps your kidneys clear sodium and toxins from the body. Drinking plenty of water is also one of the best ways to avoid painful kidney stones. Those with kidney problems or kidney failure may need to restrict their fluid intake, but for most people, drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day is a healthy target.
Medications To Prevent Swelling
People who have kidney disease may experience swelling in their extremities because of fluid retention. This excess fluid can lead to painful swelling around your ankles and wrists, which can impede movement. The excess fluid can also throw off your electrolyte balance and can lead to issues with blood pressure. Diuretics can help you maintain a proper fluid balance in your body. Your doctor will recommend one and can monitor you to see how long you should be taking it.
As with any medical condition, you should talk to your doctor about the medications you take each day. Follow medical advice to avoid doing further kidney damage and to have the best medical outcomes. By adhering to advice, you can alleviate symptoms of kidney disorders while avoiding further damage.
Have you talked to your doctor lately about medications you take and the foods you eat? for an appointment.
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Not Drinking Enough Coffee
We often assume that coffee is bad for us, however drinking coffee may actually protect your kidneys.
A scientific study suggests that drinking coffee can decrease the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Another study involving a Korean women found that drinking 2 or more cups of coffee daily can protect the kidneys.
The Risks Of Injecting Drugs
Injecting drugs increases an individuals risk of contracting HIV, a virus that compromises the immune system. HIV-associated nephropathy is a kidney disease often seen in intravenous drug users afflicted by HIV 2.
In some cases, this condition can progress to end-stage kidney failure. The prevalence of HIVAN ranges from 3.5% to 12%, depending on the study, and it typically occurs in advanced stages of HIV 11.
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How Can Diuretics For Hypertension Affect Your Kidney Function
When it comes to the treatment of hypertension, one of the first types of drugs that a family practitioner or cardiologist will prescribe is going to be a diuretic. You may have heard of diuretics, which are more commonly described as water pills”, before. When the kidneys are working properly, these medications can work wonders by influencing how elements like sodium, potassium and chlorine are absorbed within the kidney apparatus. As these elements are secreted into the kidney tract, water is likely to follow. As a result, a person taking diuretics will essentially be removing excessive water from their body.
Keeping Your Kidneys Safe When Using Pain Relievers
Many analgesic medicines are available over the counter. These medicines are generally safe when taken as directed. However, their heavy or long-term use may harm the kidneys. Up to an estimated three to five percent of the new cases of chronic kidney failure each year may be caused by chronic overuse of these medicines. It is important to realize that, while helpful, these medicines are not completely without risk, and they should be used carefully. Kidney disease related to analgesics is preventable.
What are analgesics?
Analgesics are medicines that help to control pain and reduce fever. Examples of analgesics that are available over the counter are: aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and naproxen sodium. Some analgesics contain a combination of ingredients in one pill, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine.
Can analgesics hurt kidneys?
Is aspirin safe for regular use?
When taken as directed, regular use of aspirin does not seem to increase the risk of kidney disease in people who have normal kidney function. However, taking doses that are too large may temporarily reduce kidney function. In people with kidney disease, aspirin may increase the tendency to bleed. People who already have reduced kidney function, or other health problems such as liver disease or severe heart failure, should not use aspirin without speaking to their doctor.
What analgesics are safe for people who have kidney disease?
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Kidney Impairment Can Be Costly
Although renal impairment is often reversible if the offending drug is discontinued, the condition can be costly and may require multiple interventions, including hospitalization, Dr. Naughton explained. To help you avoid getting to that point, we learned about medications that commonly cause kidney damage from Rebekah Krupski, PharmD, RPh, pharmacy resident at the Cleveland Clinic and clinical instructor of pharmacy practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Avoiding The Triple Whammy
The term triple whammy refers to the use of an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin-II receptor blocker , with a diuretic and a NSAID.
ACE inhibitors or ARBs and diuretics are commonly prescribed together however taking these medications together can increase the risk of AKI. Prescribing a NSAID alongside these medications considerably increases the risk of AKI.
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How Is Analgesic Nephropathy Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- Blood pressure checks
- Urine toxicology screen. This test measures the amount of the pain killer in the urine.
- Urinalysis. Exam of urine for certain types of cells and chemicals, such as red and white blood cells, infection, or too much protein.
- Complete blood count. This test measures the size, number, and maturity of blood cells.
- Exam of any tissue passed in the urine
- Intravenous pyelogram. A series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters, and bladder. It uses an injection of a contrast dye. This helps find tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones, or any blockages. This test also checks blood flow to the kidney.
Hiv Medications And Antiviral Drugs
Certain antiviral HIV medications are linked to long-term kidney damage and can increase your risk for kidney disease. Viread and Reyataz have both been shown to cause AKI.
Antivirals such as acyclovir and Valtrex , may lead to kidney swelling and inflammation and can also produce crystals deposits that can lead to obstruction of the ureters.
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What Should You Do
- Do not take any medicine, drug or substance unless you are under a healthcare provider’s supervision.
- Do not take pills or substances given to you by a stranger or even a friend.
- If you do take a medication or other substance and feel ill, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- If you need to have an imaging test or colonoscopy, let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney disease or are at risk for getting it.
Key Points About Analgesic Nephropathy
- Long term use of pain killers can cause damage to the kidneys. This includes over-the-counter and prescription pills.
- This condition is most common in people older than 45 years of age, and more prevalent in women over 30.
- Often there are no symptoms. It may be found on routine blood or urine tests.
- Symptoms are related to the build-up of toxins and waste products that are normally filtered by the kidneys.
- Analgesic nephropathy can lead to acute kidney failure, cancer, or atherosclerosis in later stages.
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Nsaids Are Bad For Your Blood Pressure
NSAIDs can cause high blood pressure. And if you have high blood pressure, they can make it worse. This increases your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.
NSAIDs can also keep some blood pressure drugs from working right. NSAIDs can interfere with:
- Diuretics, or water pills, such as Hydrodiuril . Diuretics remove excess water from the blood vessels.
- ACE inhibitors, such as Prinivil and Zestril . ACE inhibitors are drugs that relax the blood vessels.
- ARBs such as Cozaar . ARBs are another group of drugs that relax the blood vessels.
The Function Of The Kidneys
The majority of abused substances are excreted through the kidneys.
The kidneys job is to filter the blood pumped throughout the body in order to create urine 3. Urine is comprised of excess fluid and waste products and, once formed in the kidneys, it travels to the bladder, where it is stored in anticipation of its periodic excretion 3. Working in concert with each other, these two organs help to stabilize electrolytes and prevent waste and fluid buildup in the blood 3.
Drugs and alcohol are no exception when it comes to the renal filtration process in fact, the majority of abused substances are excreted through the kidneys2.
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Consuming Too Much Salt
Salt is important for the body, but you should limit your sodium intake. Over consumption of sodium can raise your blood pressure and put too much strain on the kidneys.
A scientific study found that over consumption of sodium can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease in people with high blood pressure.
Its interesting to note that the same study found that low sodium intake can also increase the risk of kidney disease.
The American Heart Association recommends a maximum consumption of 2,300 milligrams sodium a day .
Further reading: Read my article about different types of salt and their benefits.
How To Find Safe Weight Loss Pills
Not every weight loss drug causes kidney damage. In fact, most problems arise because people take supplements that have been shown to cause problems in the past, or abuse diet supplements, hoping to lose weight more quickly.
Its best to avoid the diet pills known to cause problems such as:
- increased heart rate
- liver damage
These include popular supplements like Ephedra, Hydroxycut, Fen-Phen, and Meridia. Taking any of these might seem tempting, especially if youre desperate to lose fat, but they arent a long-term solution, and arent good for your well-being.
Moreover, you shouldnt be tempted to purchase these, or other imposters, via online auctions or from other shady places. Doing so, and ingesting the harmful ingredients that have caused many of these supplements to be pulled from ordinary sale, is only asking for problems with your kidneys and other essential body systems.
The best solution is to find a comprehensive weight loss supplement that works, without the harsh ingredients common to most weight loss drugs on the market. One of the safe diet pills is PhenQ!
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What Is The Treatment For Analgesic Nephropathy
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
- How old you are
- Your overall health and past health
- How sick you are
- How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
- Stopping all pain killers you have been taking, especially OTC medicines
- Dietary changes
- Behavioral changes or counseling to help control chronic pain
Treatment aims to prevent any further kidney damage, and treat any existing kidney failure.
Are There Other Risks
Kidney damage is one of several reported risks and side effects for statins. Others include pain or weakness in the muscles, confusion, loss of memory, flushing, and rashes. You may also suffer liver damage, muscle damage, blood sugar spikes , or digestive problems like diarrhea, gas, nausea, and constipation.
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Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Hydrochlorothiazide is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Hydrochlorothiazide is used to treat edema caused by various medical problems, including heart, kidney, and liver disease and to treat edema caused by using certain medications including estrogen and corticosteroids. Hydrochlorothiazide is in a class of medications called diuretics . It works by causing the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
Vitamin Cocktails May Injure Kidneys
Athletes seeking a competitive edge may turn to performance-enhancing substances, but people using these chemicals often experience tragic results.
A January 2017 review in Nefrologia described 16 cases of vitamin cocktail abuse by body sculptors.
These people injected a veterinary product with a mix of vitamins A, D and E, and all ended up in the hospital with acute kidney injury. Doctors restored kidney function in some, but not all, cases.
Vitamin cocktails can also increase the risk of vitamin-drug interactions. For example, a December 2014 report in Nutrition Research Reviews describes how vitamin E alters the effects of common medicines like cyclosporine A, warfarin and aspirin.
People with diabetes who have kidney damage may seek to restore their health by taking vitamin D, and researchers have shown that vitamin D may help hide diabetic symptoms. An August 2017 paper published in Drug Development Research showed that this nutrient increased insulin sensitivity in an animal model of diabetes, but unfortunately, the vitamin D administered also caused kidney damage.
Such a result is not surprising. Scientists classify vitamin D as a fat-soluble vitamin. It can, therefore, accumulate in the body and cause hypervitaminosis.
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Monitoring Kidney Function Is Key
Experts have suggested that doctors should consider regular monitoring for impaired kidney function after starting or increasing the dosages of drugs associated with nephrotoxicity. According to one study, more than 30% of preventable kidney events related to medications were caused by a lack of proper monitoring.
There are also a number of medications that need dosage adjustment according to renal function. What this means is that as renal function decreases, the dose of the medication also needs to be reduced.
Commonly prescribed medications that need to be adjusted according to renal function include antibiotics and antifungals, antivirals, diabetic medications , cardiac drugs , diuretics, opioids, anticonvulsants and drugs for gout .
Eating Too Many Foods High In Sugar
Sugar contributes to obesity which increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, two of the leading causes of kidney disease. In addition to desserts, sugar is often added to foods and drinks that you may not consider sweet. Avoid condiments, breakfast cereals, and white bread which are all sneaky sources of processed sugar. Pay attention to the ingredients when buying packaged goods to avoid added sugar in your diet.
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