What Are the Treatments for Kidney Disease?
You’ll take medicines and may need to change your diet. If you have diabetes, it needs to be managed. If your kidneys don’t work anymore, you might need dialysis (in which a machine filters your blood) and you could talk with your doctor about whether a kidney transplant would help.
High blood pressure makes chronic kidney disease more likely. And kidney disease can affect your blood pressure. So your doctor may prescribe one of these types of blood-pressure medicines:
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Fosinopril (Monopril)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
- Ramipril (Altace)
- Azilsartan (Edarbi)
- Eprosartan (Teveten)
- Irbesartan (Avapro)
- Losartan (Cozaar)
- Olmesartan (Benicar)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
Along with controlling blood pressure, these medicines may lower the amount of protein in your urine. That could help your kidneys over time.
You might also need to take a medicine to help your body make erythropoietin, which is a chemical that prompts your body to make red blood cells. So you might get a prescription for darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) or erythropoietin (Procrit, Epogen) to curb anemia.
Medicines to Avoid
If your kidneys don’t work well, check with your doctor before you take any medications, including over-the-counter drugs (medicines you can get without a prescription.)
Your doctor may tell you to avoid certain pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve) and celecoxib (Celebrex). These drugs, which doctors call “NSAIDs” (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), could play a role in kidney disease. If you take a type of heartburn drug called a “proton pump inhibitor (PPI),” you may also want to know that some studies show a link between those medicines and chronic kidney disease. Your doctor may want to check on whether you need these medicines, or if a different dosage or something else might work better for you.
Tell your doctor if you take any herbal products or other supplements. It’s best to have that talk before you start to take them.