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How to keep kidneys safe? Here are smart choices for common medications you use on a daily basis

Call  us at kingwood kidney associates 281-401-9540 to schedule your appointment to learn about the  steps you should take to protect your kidneys from harm.

You can also schedule your appointment online using the booking tool on this page. Book your examination today.

The information below explains

 

Manage your medicines with help from your health care providers

At the pharmacy

The next time you pick up a prescription or buy an OTC medicine or supplement, ask your pharmacist how the product may affect your kidneys or react with other medicines you take.

Fill your prescriptions at only one pharmacy or pharmacy chain so your pharmacist can monitor your medicines and supplements, and check for harmful interactions between your medicines.

At your doctor’s office

Keep an up-to-date list of your medicines and supplements in your wallet. Take your list with you, or bring all your medicine bottles, to all health care visits.

 

Be careful about using over-the-counter medicines

If you take OTC or prescription medicines for headaches, pain, fever, or colds, you may be taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). 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.

ibuprofen and naproxen  are NSAIDs. NSAIDs are sold under many different brand names, so ask your pharmacist or health care provider if the medicines you take are safe to use.

Plan ahead to manage pain, flu, or other illness

Almost everyone gets sick once in a while. 

Before you get sick, ask us the following questions at your visit 

If blood pressure medicines help my kidneys, why all this extra caution?

In normal, everyday circumstances, taking your blood pressure medicines as prescribed helps protect your kidneys. However, certain situations, such as when you’re dehydrated from the flu or diarrhea, can lower the blood flow to your kidneys and cause harm.

Factors that can add up to cause harm

When you get sick from something like the flu or diarrhea, or have trouble drinking enough fluids, the blood pressure in your body may decrease. As a result, the pressure in your kidneys can be low, too.

In most cases, healthy kidneys can protect themselves. However, if you keep taking your blood pressure medicines when you’re dehydrated or have low blood pressure, your kidneys might have a hard time protecting themselves. The pressure within your kidneys might drop so low that your kidneys won’t filter normally.

If you’re dehydrated, NSAIDs can also keep your kidneys from protecting themselves. As a result, taking NSAIDs when you’re sick and dehydrated can cause kidney injury.

Call  us at kingwood kidney associates 281-401-9540 to schedule your appointment to learn about the  steps you should take to protect your kidneys from harm.

You can also schedule your appointment online using the booking tool on this page. Book your examination today.

 

Author
Dr. Sowmya Puthalapattu Sowmya Puthalapattu, MD, or Dr. Sowmya as she’s known to patients, is an experienced board-certified nephrologist and internal medicine physician at Kingwood Kidney Associates, with offices in Kingwood and The Woodlands, Texas. Dedicated to providing her patients with comprehensive individualized care, Dr. Puthalapattu believes in the importance of active listening and having an open and creative clinical mind to provide the right care to meet her patients’ needs. She is faculty and Subspeciality education coordinator for Nephrology at IM GME program HCA Kingwood . Her areas of specialty include chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, hyponatremia, and high blood pressure. A resident of The Woodlands, Texas, Dr. Puthalapattu spends her free time with her husband and two children. Her favorite activities include hiking and traveling.

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