How Do My Kidneys Impact the Medicines I Take?


Have you ever wondered how your medicine can be impacted by the condition of your kidneys?

Your kidneys function to keep a normal balance of water, salts, and minerals in your blood as well as to remove waste and surplus fluid from your body. It is common for your kidneys to function less effectively as you age. Other health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, an infection, or using kidney-harming medications may all be a factor in this reduction, as well.

Impact on Kidneys While Taking Medication

The kidney, liver, or a combination of the two organs eliminate the majority of drugs from the body. Kidney disease can impede the clearance of drugs that mostly eliminates by the kidney and result in a build-up of the substance in the body.

As a result, you might need to take the drug less frequently or at a reduced dosage, as determined by your doctor. Antibiotics, antifungal, and antiviral medications, as well as some oral diabetes meds and high blood pressure medications, are a few examples of medications that you may need to modify.

Medicines That Have Impact on Kidneys

Your kidneys process every medication you consume. Thus, the kidneys may be harmed by a drug if you do not take it as directed by your doctor.

Pain Medications

Your kidneys may suffer if you regularly take over-the-counter medications including aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. None of these medications should be taken consistently or on a daily basis without first consulting a healthcare professional. By using these medications excessively frequently, thousands of Americans have suffered renal damage.


Drinking excessively might damage your liver and kidneys. Thus, alcoholics are more likely to experience liver and renal failure.


Inappropriate antibiotic dosage might potentially be harmful. There is a requirement of less antibiotic dosage for those with renal disease comparable to those with healthy kidneys. Therefore, take only the medicines that your doctor has recommended for you.

Prescription Laxatives

In general, using over-the-counter laxatives is safe for the majority of people. The kidneys, however, can be hurt by some prescription laxatives used for bowel cleaning (often before to a colonoscopy).

Contrast Dye

Contrast dye, often refer to as “imaging dye,” is beneficial in some medical investigations. MRIs and CT scans are two types of imaging examinations. Those with renal illness may experience harm from contrast dyes. There is not a usage of contrast agents in all imaging tests.

What Should You Do?

  • Without the guidance of a healthcare professional, never take any medication, drug, or substance.
  • Never accept medication or any other kind of drug from a stranger, not even from a friend.
  • If you feel sick after using a drug or other substance, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
  • Inform your healthcare practitioner if you have renal disease. Or are at risk for developing it if you require an imaging test or colonoscopy.

Can Medicine Affect My Kidneys?

Yes. If you already have kidney illness, it’s not advisable to use some medications since they can harm your kidneys. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and ibuprofen. This can further restrict blood flow to the kidneys. Infection-treating drugs of a certain type, diuretics, specific laxatives, and dyes used prior to scans are additional examples of pharmaceuticals that may harm the kidneys.

The Bottom Line

Before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter drug, including supplements and herbal remedies, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or pharmacist. Also, if you have renal illness, contact your healthcare provider. They can give you advice on whether to take the medication, adjust the dosage, or switch to a different drug that might be safer for you.