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Top Ten Drugs That Cause Kidney Damage

By Linda Fugate PhD
 
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The list of individual drugs that cause kidney damage is so long that it's hard to decide on the top ten. So I've chosen to list them by type of drug: antibiotic, analgesic, etc.

Top ten drugs that cause kidney damage:

1. Antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, methicillin, vancomycin, sulfonamides.
2. Analgesics, including acetominophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID): aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others available only by prescription.
3. COX-2 inhibitors, including celecoxib (brand name Celebrex). Two drugs in this class have been withdrawn from the market because of cardiovascular toxicity: rofecoxib (brand name Vioxx), and valdecoxib (brand name Bextra). These drugs are a special class of NSAID that were developed to be safer for the stomach, but have the same risk as other NSAIDs for kidney damage. See Ref. 3.

4. Heartburn drugs of the proton pump inhibitor class, including omeprazole (brand name Prilosec), lansoprazole (brand name Prevacid), pantoprazole (brand name Protonix), rabeprazol (brand names Rabecid, Aciphex), esomeprazole (brand names Nexium, Esotrex). See Ref. 4.
5. Antiviral drugs, including acyclovir (brand name Zovirax) used to treat herpes infection, and indinavir and tenofovir, both used to treat HIV.
6. High blood pressure drugs, including captopril (brand name Capoten).
7. Rheumatoid arthritis drugs, including infliximab (brand name Remicade); chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which are used to treat malaria and systemic lupus erythematosus as well as rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder.
9. Anticonvulsants, including phenytoin (brand name Dilantin) and trimethadione (brand name Tridione), used to treat seizures and other conditions.
10. Chemotherapy drugs, including interferons, pamidronate, cisplatin, carboplatin, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, quinine, mitomycin C, bevacizumab; and anti-thyroid drugs, including propylthiouracil, used to treat overactive thyroid.

For many prescription drugs, you can find the full prescribing information online. This information is typically 10 – 30 pages long, and includes detailed precautions, warnings, and adverse effects.

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi,

Thanks for this, understanding and looking after your Kidneys, as a key organ, is very important. If you're concerned check out the symptoms here:
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/mild-to-moderate-chronic-kidney-disease

Hope this helps.

February 12, 2013 - 4:11am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi.. I'm so glad to read your post.. This is one I am looking for.. Kidney is one of the most important organs in our body, And having the right solution for the problem in one’s kidney is very hard to find due to different ideas about it.

If you have time you can visit this site that I managed to surf in:
Kidney Failure Treatment and Prescription Drugs

July 22, 2011 - 8:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have recently been diagnosed with stage 2 ckd. I have been on Nexium (mostly 2 times a day) since 1999. Could the Nexium have attributed to my ckd? I do have high blood pressure and was told this is the cause of my ckd.

March 30, 2010 - 12:48pm
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon -

High blood pressure is one of the main contributing factors in developing chronic kidney disease. You can learn more about ckd through the EmpowHER reference page: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/chronic-renal-failure

While very rare, kidney side effects have been reported from the use of Nexium, including at least two cases of interstitial nephritis. You can learn more here:
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/nexium-side-effects.html

According to another resource this is a very rare side effect, affecting less than 1 in 10,000 people. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100004304.html

Have you been provided with information to assist you with this condition? Have you considered joining a support group? There are a lot of things you can do to help manage ckd and we wish you all the best in doing so.
Take care, Pat

March 30, 2010 - 6:09pm
Linda Fugate PhD

Good question. Here's what the Lipitor web site says about excretion: "LIPITOR and its metabolites are eliminated primarily in bile following hepatic and/or extra-hepatic metabolism; however, the drug does
not appear to undergo enterohepatic recirculation. Mean plasma elimination half-life of LIPITOR in humans is approximately 14 hours, but the halflife of inhibitory activity for HMG-CoA reductase is 20 to 30 hours due to the contribution of active metabolites. Less than 2% of a dose of LIPITOR is recovered in urine following oral administration."

December 31, 2009 - 1:04pm
Diane Porter

Linda,

This is a great list and, like Pat says, is a wonderful reminder to us that these things do interact in our bodies in ways we may not be thinking about.

I was surprised to not see statin drugs on the list? Are they only potentially harmful for the liver?

December 31, 2009 - 8:57am
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

Hi Linda - The long list of drugs that could cause kidney damage is incredible, and a good reminder of our need to be vigilant in understanding the impact of all of the prescription and over the counter drugs we take.
I would just add that our pharmacist, as well as our doctor, can help in understanding and avoiding possible complications from combinations of drugs, both prescriptions and over the counter, and is another source for good information.
Thanks again for this very helpful information!
Best,
Pat

November 2, 2009 - 5:55pm
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